Something in this morning’s devotional reading reminded me that while we are called to “labor alongside the Lord Jesus in the joyful work of bringing heaven to earth” we must never forget our first responsibility—to nourish and sustain our relationship with Jesus himself.
It’s a little dated. A lot of the readings in my devotional book are. But this is what Elton Trueblood says in a book called, The New Man for Our Time:
Because we cannot reasonably expect to erect a constantly expanding structure of social activism upon a constantly diminishing foundation of faith, attention to the cultivation of the inner life is our first order of business, even in a period of rapid social change. The Church, if it is to affect the world, must become a center from which new spiritual power emanates. While the Church must be secular in the sense that it operates in the world, if it is only secular it will not have the desired effect upon the secular order which it is called to penetrate. With no diminution of concern for people, we can and must give new attention to the production of a trustworthy religious experience.
Or, as Jesus puts it in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Wait a minute. What did he just say? Apart from him we can do what? Oh, yes. That’s right…