Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Sirach 42 (Continued) – God’s Glory: “He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom, he is from everlasting to everlasting, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away” (42:21-22). It is the nature of all things from God that they “go in pairs, by opposites” (42:24).
Sirach 43 – On God’s Glory: “The sun, as he emerges, proclaims at his rising, ‘A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!’ . . .Great is the Lord who made him, and whose word speeds him on his course” (42:2-4).
And then there is the moon, “always punctual, to mark the months and make division of time” (43:6). And the “glory of the stars makes the beauty of the sky” (43:9). The rainbow praises its maker and all the wonders of nature – the lightning, the clouds, thunder and wind, snow and hoarfrost. “He swallows up the mountains and scorches the desert, like a fire he consumes the vegetation. But the mist heals everything in good time, after the heat falls the reviving dew” (43:21-22).
Those who ply the seas tell of its wonders, and “all things hold together by means of his word” (43:26).
“Exalt the Lord in your praises as high as you may—still he surpasses you. Exert all your strength when you exalt him, do not grow tired—you will never come to the end. Who has ever seen him to give a description? Who can glorify him as he deserves?” (43:30-31)
Acts 20:13-38 - They went by sea from Assos to Mitylene and the next day to Chios and then on to Miletus. They avoid Ephesus, so as not to get delayed, but the elders of the church in Ephesus met him in Miletus where he delivered this sermon – his third in Acts [see chapters 13 and 17 for the others]: He speaks of himself already as a “prisoner” (20:22) who is going to Jerusalem unsure of what will happen. He is sure imprisonment await him there, but “life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me—and that was to bear witness to the Good News of Gods grace” (20:24). He speaks of his worry that “even from . . .[the leaders of the church[ there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them” (20:30). He leaves them in tears, believing he will not see any of them again. Wish I knew exactly what he thought they were going to say.