I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains. – Revelation 3:1-2
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John, the prophet of Revelation, saw the impact of the fall of Jerusalem and the terror of Rome. Many commentators assert that the age of prophecy was completed once Christ had come in the flesh. But how can any who believe that Christ is coming again think prophecy has ceased? Because the Holy Spirit is among us, our Lord speaks to us and guides us. We can feel this divine gift continue until all the prophecies of Scripture are fulfilled.
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One urging: return to the field, reshaping what’s already sprouting, as well as starting anew.
Another urging: move forward, quickly, on other fronts.
As a writer, for the first time in my life, I truly doubted my abilities.
That is, one moment, my emotions – feelings – deaden. No reaction. No desire. No awareness.
The next moment, this isolation paralyzes. Have no sense at the moment of my abilities, of style, of communicating. Wonder what the next big project really is, what its structure will be; without structure, what purpose in beginning?
So I can see the spiritual arc reflected in my own creative process.
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With that caveat, I hope that we can revitalize our Quaker way. Our emphasis has rightly been upon action that arises from faith: see what we DO, rather than what we SAY.
I would hope, too, that we keep the perspective of Pilgrim Marpeck, an early Mennonite, preserving “unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, and charity (love) in all things.”
Wake up, indeed!
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Unto you, People, unto whom this Message is sent, a few Words do lie with Weight upon my Spirit, to put you in Remembrance of Days past, and that you may call to Mind the Promises you did make to the Lord, when your Hearts were tendred before him, because of the Judgments that then seemed to awaken you, but so soon as the Hand of the Lord turned back, and with-held from smiting, O! who then amongst you were faithful to those Promises? So that may I not say, that neither the Mercies nor Judgments of the Lord have so awakened you as to turn to him by unfeigned Repentance? For whose Sake the Lord hath put in my Heart to mind you, for the Sake of your immortal Souls, that you may be awakened to a speedy Turning to the Lord, that you may not provoke the Lord to with-hold his Spirit from striving with you.
Written in Obedience to the Lord, by your Friend, Elizabeth Bathurst