Anthony the Great: The Land of the Meek-hearted

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Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33

“Let the desire of possession take hold of no one, for what gain is it to acquire these things which we cannot take with us? Why not rather get those things which we can take away with us — to wit, prudence, justice, temperance, courage, understanding, love, kindness to the poor, faith in Christ, freedom from wrath, hospitality? If we possess these, we shall find them of themselves preparing for us a welcome there in the land of the meek-hearted.”

Anthony the Great (251-356), perhaps the earliest Christian monk, from Egypt, in The Life of St. Anthony, 17, by Athanasius of Alexandria (New Advent).

What will welcome you in the Land of the Meek-hearted?

After meetings in Christchurch, Gary Williams, Steve Kerr, Murray Baird and me, like four Hobbits, and Ereny Monir, like Arwen, made our way through “middle earth” to Queenstown for a weekend retreat. We shot the header photo at Edoras (a.k.a. Mt. Sunday).

The New Zealand scenery was stunning and made me think of it as “the Land of the Meek-hearted.”

Hobbits, the fictional creatures in the classic writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, are meek-hearted creatures. They are willing to sacrifice and show kindness regardless of the magnitude of the deeds or the depth of the danger, because they must do what is right and good.

Do we live with the same wit and willingness?

As the early church was starting to grow strong, it shifted from focusing on people to possessions in the early 300’s. That led to the launching of the monastic tradition. Deeply committed Christ followers, like Anthony, left the church because it was not a building, it’s a body.

What should the body of Christ be doing with its resources?

Live, give, serve, and love generously! Stop acquiring what you cannot take with you. Prepare for a place of wonder, like “middle earth” that is beyond all estimation and comprehension. The time to prepare for that place is now.

Use all you’ve got to acquire what you can take with you!