08 October 2015

A Little Von Schenk

The sins of men were expiated on Calvary. But Calvary which united men with God also draws them up to divine love, so that it now becomes their love. This love, the divine love, the Calvary love, is the only love that is worthwhile.

From all this we draw a mighty conclusion. Why is it that we often fail our fellowmen? Why is it that we fail in our church work? Why is it that we fail in our witnessing, in our mission work? It is because we lack the one thing which will save the world—divine love, the Calvary love. It does not radiate through us.

It is not our human love that the world needs. This is what the world has been trying to tell us church people for a long time. But we will not agree. We place the blame for our failure everywhere but the right place, and then we keep trying to foist our human love, tainted with self-interest, on the world, to which it says: "We don't want it; we don't trust it. We can be just as good, if not better, outside the church."

Why is it the early Christians showed such power? It was because Calvary love, the divine love, radiated in their message and in their lives. That love was irresistible. The fascinating story of the martyrs fertilized the acres of the Church. That love alone will build the kingdom of God on earth. That love is the only missionary policy for us to follow. The pure love of Calvary will draw men up. It is the only love that achieves a final victory. It is the only love which has an Easter. Any other love just leaves ashes.

The Presence, p. 72.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You quote von Schenk, “Why is it the early Christians showed such power? It was because Calvary love, the divine love, radiated in their message and in their lives.”
Many years ago, I wondered about the same thing. I thought that somehow the spirit of the early Church had been dissipated, and I wanted to find a connection to it. I read books like Elert’s “Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries,” and I did not find the answer.
Then, one day it dawned on me, it was not the “Spirit of the Early Church;” it was the Lord, the Holy Spirit, Who had come to dwell in each believer, and Who had created the power and the love of the early Church. And He is the same today as He was then. So why are we not the same as those early Christians?
I think the answer is that Christendom, including the LCMS, has abandoned the proclamation of the pure Gospel. We have added all kinds of rules, regulations, Law (more than just Third Use) and restrictions so that people are not filled with love and joy, but with fear and self-interest. Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”
If, as a church, we were to take another careful, prayerful look at the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and the meaning of the Gospel as the Holy Spirit teaches them through the Scriptures, we might find ourselves surprised by joy.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart