Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Clement: Look to the Faith Heroes and Throw off all Shame

Clement just cited Jesus as an example of humility.  He already talked about saints, and he decides to mention them again.  He also shouts out to David and his 51st Psalm.  I think he should have finished the list with Jesus because he is not one of many.  He is our God and Savior.  The saints are humble because of him.

"The humility and godly submission of so great and illustrious men have rendered us better."  Clement talks about the example of the faithful people who have gone before us.  His talk reminds me of Hebrews 12.  That author had just finished a list of faithful saints, and now he encourages: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."  I have no shame in saying that I imagine someone just throwing off all their clothes and running completely free.  They have nothing to hide; they are focused on Jesus till the end of their time on earth.

Clement points to the peace and harmony of the universe.  God even controls the wild ocean.  We should run with this security.  We don't leap in the dark hoping that we will land.  We know exactly where we're going.  God showed us the way in Jesus and it is no secret.  We know that God rules the earth, and despite any discouragement, we must live each day free of any barriers that would keep us from running toward Jesus.

"The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts." Proverbs 20:27.  Spirit can also be "breath."  Clement says, "let us reflect on how near he is...For he is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires of the heart; his breath is in us and when he pleases, he will take it away."
Faith in  Christ confirms all these admonitions.  

"Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord." Psalm 32:10

The message: the Romans may be threatening to destroy the temple and we are about to lose everything we based our lives on.  Heathens are taking our loving acts of kindness and words of warning and calling them bigotry and intolerance.  We must continue knowing that God is as near as our breath and that Jesus is a certainty.  We must rip off all our clothes and run the race marked out for us without fear or shame.

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