We have been discussing the Saints for a while now and I have noticed a commonality running through them all. They all seem to be responding to two things: a devotion to Christ and challenge from the world.
Everything starts and ends with Christ. If he is not our first love, then there is no point in having any conversation around Saints. A Saint is just someone who has achieved what we all long for, union with Christ. He is the source and object of our joy and our hope. He is also the wellspring for our righteous pursuits.
Many of the Saints we have discussed on the podcast were all responding to challenges from the world. It was their love of Christ that urged them to respond. St. John wrote his gospel because people were beginning to teach that Christ was not fully God. St. Athanasius relentlessly held his ground against those who would subordinate Christ.
Christianity has had to respond to every modern claim to truth and those responses were all very specific to the time in which they happened. We see this clearly in retrospect. Each age brings up a new challenge, a Judges is raised up to combat it, and Christianity moves further up and further in. I don’t believe these Saints considered themselves modern Judges. I think they saw them selves as lovers of Christ. They defended Christ fiercely like a boy defends the honor of his mother in the school yard. Have you ever stopped to wonder why boys used to fight when their mom was insulted? That love of mother is so deep, that the insult cannot go without a response. That is how I think the Saints saw themselves.
What does that mean for us today?
Firstly, we need to be lovers of Christ. If I’m being honest, that is really all we need to do. As our love for Christ grows, we will find that the love we have cultivated urges us to move. That urge is what most of us consider a “call.” We remain faithful in our love of Christ and continue to answer that call, respond to that urge. It is contrary to our modern perspective that says we need to have goals and vision and a plan for our lives. I do think there is a place for that within our love of Christ. The difference is that we must be Christ centered, not self centered.
I am not placing myself in the realm of Saints, but I have felt this to a small degree. I love Christ and have felt the urge to lift people up. During this time, I felt the world was working to remove all of my power, remove my voice. I actually chose to be silent for many years. Eventually, I came to a place where I felt God had given me something, a voice, and I was denying Him. I love him and could no longer deny Him what he called for me. That is when I reached out to AJ about starting our podcast. I have talked about quitting over the years. There is this urge that keeps me going though. I can’t quit because I can’t deny my first love.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.