“The Two Cities”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).
The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat

Where it can, it saves and seasons. John Piper
As New Orleans reaches their crescendo in merry making, Christians are reminded that “here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come”. (Heb.13:14) I, as a Christian, don’t want to live passive or smirk at the “day God forgot” but in Piper’s words, “labor to illuminate and not dominate”. We live between two cities as Augustine said when he wrote about the City of God. He said there was two rival cities shaped by opposing loves and working toward different ends. Romans 2:15 speaks of the law written upon our hearts or as some have called it, a common moral compass guiding Christians through the two cities. It’s this compass that we live by during our time of exile upon this earth. We learn to interact with the world but not identify with it. We have broken hearted joy because we want to see people made whole. We have broken hearted joy because they live on the tastes, sights and sounds of this world. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). It has since the fall, and it will till Christ comes. Us exiles join with the whole creation as it groans and we are enlarged in the waiting. The last time I read my bible I read about Corinth, Athens, and Rome in the book of Acts and the Pharaoh of Egypt in Exodus doing what they always have done, for they are of the other city. If there ever was a time for “such as time as this” it is now. We don’t shrug off our callings we run to finish it. Piper says again, “Our joy is a brokenhearted joy because human culture –- in every society –- dishonors Christ, glories in its shame, and is bent on self-destruction. The greatness of Christian exiles is not success but service. We don’t own culture, and we don’t rule it. We serve it with brokenhearted joy and longsuffering mercy, for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ.”

“The earthly city glories in itself, the Heavenly City glories in the Lord.”

― Augustine of Hippo, City of God

 

 

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