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Christ Waiting to Be Gracious

Christ Waiting to Be Gracious

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.

A MONG the Logia or professed Sayings of
Our Lord recently found in an early Greek
papyrus, none has excited more perplexity than
the fifth. It begins with a reminiscence of the
great words which have been called the true
charter of the Church — " Where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the
midst of them." It goes on, " Raise the stone, and
there thou shalt find me ; cleave the wood, and
there am I."
BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.

A MONG the Logia or professed Sayings of
Our Lord recently found in an early Greek
papyrus, none has excited more perplexity than
the fifth. It begins with a reminiscence of the
great words which have been called the true
charter of the Church — " Where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the
midst of them." It goes on, " Raise the stone, and
there thou shalt find me ; cleave the wood, and
there am I."

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 05, 2014
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CHRIST WAITING TO BE GRACIOUS BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.A MONG the Logia or professed Sayings of Our Lord recently found in an early Greek papyrus, none has excited more perplexity than the fifth. It begins with a reminiscence of the great words which have been called the true charter of the Church — " Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." It goes on, " Raise the stone, and there thou shalt find me ; cleave the wood, and there am I." We do not accept the addition as a saying of Christ, but it is at the least a comment of high interest. Any satisfactory interpretation must read it in the light of what precedes it, and show it as exegetical or explanatory of that. For this reason various interpretations that have found currency are out of court. Let us try whether it is. possible to weave the passages into one. Whether our interpretation is right or not, the truths which underlie it are of unending significance and worth.
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246 THE RETURN TO THE CROSS We read the passage as a whole as meaning in the first place, that Christ waits to be gracious. When His people go to gather together in His name, they find that He is already there. He welcomes with a smile the first worshippers. He has prevented them with the blessings of His goodness. It is not as in the days after His resurrection when the disciples were within, and the door was shut, and Jesus came through and stood in the midst of them, and said, '* Peace be unto you." Many of our readers, we are sure, count as among the highest and most luminous hours of life the little praj'er-meetings they have attended in humble places, in kitchens and barns. It all comes before them so vividly that they are tempted to think that no experiences have been graven so deep as these. They recall the walk to the meeting-place, perhaps on a moonlit night of snow, the long shadows, the "holier day," the hopeful loneliness, the sense that they were on
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the road to Christ, to a full manifestation of His presence. Thus we come to the low doorway through which love, and grief, and patience, and hope approach Him, and enter the little room where we mark His blest abode, and into glory peep. The little company of grave, subdued CHRIST WAITING TO BE GRACIOUS 247 worshippers gradually take their places, and one is aware of the deep still current of thought flowing towards -the present Christ, the growing sense of His mastery over us, of His awful righteousness, and of Mis more awful love. Clouds are there, and tliey may be very heavy. There are sad thoughts — thoughts of the lapses of a stained life, of sorrows so black that scarcely a pale beam shines through them, of bereave-ments that have left life cold and dark as the later hours of a winter day. It may even be that the very faculty of emotion fails and sinks under the subduing weight of depression and care. But
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