Monday, August 24, 2015
We Need Heros, And History
Christians throughout history have interacted with saints in various ways. Eastern Orthodox believers gaze at them through icons and pass down their stories via hagiographies. Some Roman Catholics pray to them and ask for their help interceding with God. While such practices might make a good Protestant squirm, we can all benefit from viewing saints like Jacques Douillet, as “those who march in front and give the example.”Amen - we do not need intermediaries as the Catholics think of the saints, but we need heroes in a big way. Actually, most protestants just need church history. We tend to think everything is unique and right now, when there really is little new under the sun.
Jesus ministry was steeped in the history of the Jewish people. He made constant reference to the scriptures of the Old Testament and part of His claims stemmed from his ancestors. We, however, tend to act as if Christianity sprang up, fully formed about the time of the Reformation. Many Evangelical churches think Christianity started about the time their pastor rented that first space in a strip mall.
History matters. It is more than just avoiding mistake previously made. It is also a matter of understanding on the deepest possible levels who we are and what we stand for. The church seems lost is a miasma of self-fulfillment, and yet it is supposed to be so much more. History is one more way to take us out of our own mind and concerns and place us in a larger context.
Like the epic heroes of Greece and Rome, like King Arther and Gilgamesh, we need heroic saints of the church.
church history saints selflessness