Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Service’

Authenticity. Not succumbing to useless prattling, or derogatory yelling to beef up one’s own view as the right way. Living authentically. This is what John writes in his third epistle. As the structure relates around 90-100 CE, the gatherings are becoming more structured and uniform. A drastic change for the Sacred Service communities founded on the Commandment of Love. Worries arising not only in John’s old soul, but in members from the short words he writes that eventually it will be more about pomp and ceremony instead of substance and community.

The Elder,

To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in [a]truth

-Epistle of 3 John 1-4 (New King James Version)

John reminds the facilitator and leader of the community that there is an authentic vocation in his divine heart for the work within the community. John knows this because others, not Gaius, share what has happened. It is an inversion of today’s world where we are asked why we are good fits, what matters, where we expect those above us to note how great we are. Yet, what John lays out is that the greatest compliment and understanding is when those you serve, are the ones that share the truth about you:

Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren [b]and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive[c] such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

-Epistle of 3 John 5-8 (New King James Version)

Doing good not expecting to gain anything from it, but the simple act itself. Knowing that if there is enough ripples created in the darkness by pockets of light…

The darkness shrinks away for the new dawn.

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating[d] against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, [e]but he who does evil has not seen God.

12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also [f]bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

-Epistle of 3 John 9-12 (New King James Version)

Injured pride. One who did not earn leadership whether it be from within the community with or without title. Turned out in hate and anger, reaping fear and in-hospitality.  Only walking the talk when there is someone there to acknowledge and spread the story or something to be gained. Does this sound familiar? How easily one can be swayed into this idealization of ego that masquerades as good works. In the end it is actually darkness dressed up in fancy clothes.

Missing the point of the act of love.

I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.

Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

-Epistle 3 John 13-14 (New King James Version)

And John ends with what community is about. Yes correspondence is good, but not as good as face to face conversation. Sharing of meals (coffee) and discussion for growth.