“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17
“One cannot be always faring well or always ill, for every one’s life is made up of contraries. But if by God’s grace your help should stand by us steadily, we will bear the abundance of annoyances, in the hope of begin always a sharer in your goodness. May you, then, never cease bestowing on us such favors, that by them you may refresh us, and prepare for yourself in ampler measure the reward promised to them that keep the commandments.”
Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-395) in Letter 14 “To the Bishop of Melitene in Saint Gregory of Nyssa: Collection (London: Aeterna, 2016) 511. He’s the third of the three Cappadocian Fathers. The first was his older brother, Basil of Caesarea (a.k.a. Basil the Great) and the second was their mutual friend, Gregory of Nazianzus.
I managed to read about a dozen of Gregory’s letters online. This one dripped with gratitude. It was written to a fellow minister who had blessed Gregory both materially and spiritually through the ups and downs of service to Christ.
Know anyone like that? I can think of a number of generous people who the minute they hear I have a need, they jump to my aid. Their support inspires me to endure an “abundance of annoyances” because I know they always have my back.
That’s also, at least in part, why I come to gatherings like the CLA Outcomes Conference. I come to encourage others and be encouraged by long-time friends and fellow Christ-followers. Do you have people in your life that you generously encourage?
As we continue to explore “abundance” in church history in the forty days from the resurrection of Jesus to his ascension, my charge to you today is to support richly anyone you know who is willing to endure an “abundance of annoyances” for Christ.
Reach out to them. Ask them if there is anything they need, and then dig deeply to assist them. Your aid will inspire them to stay the course in helping people understand and follow the commandments of Christ despite hardships and difficulty!Read more