Saturday, March 22, 2014

Michael Ramsey on holiness and unity

Here is a key paragraph - and a beautiful one! - from Michael Ramsey's "Canterbury Pilgrim" (p. 198) on accepting the call of Christ and depending only on his grace.

‘Called to be saints with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 1:2). What words those are! How they lift us out of our limitations into the supreme reality: we are one in Christ not because of our own ability to grasp things or any virtues we may be supposed to have, but because Christ has called us and we accept his call. When we say that Christ has called us we are at once in his hands, we are held by him, for him to do with us what he intends to do: for we are called to be saints. We are called to resemble Jesus, called to be moulded into the likeness of Christ crucified. That is what Christianity is about: ‘called to be saints’, says St Paul; ‘we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3.2), says St John. If that is what Christianity is about, it is no less what Christian unity is about: called to be saints, with all who in every place call upon the name of Jesus. Here indeed is a unity not made by us, not chosen by us, but created by Christ, from whose call we cannot escape. He is stronger than us, and he has prevailed. We therefore pray for that nearness to Jesus in the working out within each of us of the calling to be saints. May he who humbled himself in the stable in Bethlehem and on the wood of Calvary so humble us that something of his likeness may begin to be ours. To this he has called us, and has made us one with all in every place who have received the same call and dare not look back.


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