The Dirty Dozen, Discipleship, Worship & the Family of God
Devotional and Discussion Thought of the Day:
1 So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. 3 And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. 4 We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. 5 In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. 6 So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; 7 if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; 8 if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. 10 Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another. Romans 12:1-10 (TEV)
729 Men—this has always happened in history—bind their lives together to accomplish a collective mission and destiny. Is the unique destiny of eternal happiness worth less to the men and women of today? (1)
An odd juxtaposition occurred in the last 12 hours or so, and it all came together in the words of St. Josemaria I read this morning.
The first is one of the books I picked up on my Kindle – the old World War II novel entitled, “The Dirty Dozen” A movie was based on it, twelve soldiers sentenced to death or life in prison were given a chance to live honorably, in service to their country. Their leader is tasked with molding them into a unit, despite their differences in culture, in life, and their tendency to violence. It has some fascinating looks at why men choose evil, or passively accept it.
The second was a question asked by one the seminary students I supervise, part of an assignment, about the connection between worship and witness. Given the course, I think they were thinking in the narrow sense of both words, how a church service leads us to evangelism. I prefer to look at it in the large sense, lives given as described above, worship as our reasonable, sacrificial, lives, where each does what they do as they trust in God. This kind of worship is a living witness – far more powerful than any words we can speak. This is what worship is, this is what the sacraments prepare us for, knowing our mission is eternal, knowing that the outcome is more than us. Seeing how Christ’s mercy makes it all possible, for us to live as sacrifices, as we live and serve and love, and respect each other, as our trust in God grows.
In the Book and the movie, The Dirty Doze, such a camaraderie eventually develops. They will get their mission, they will mourn their losses, the will accomplish their mission But it is the training and serving each other that will make the biggest difference. Not the orders given, not the memories of their past. They will enter into a relationship deeper than they will want to admit to, more than they can even perceive.
We are the same, we have a mission, but that mission isn’t just what binds us together, It isn’t the hope of being known to be honorable, or being heroes. The gifts we use, the love and respect we share, that isn’t the intention either. For if it is that, we will leave people behind, we won’t see them as necessary to the mission, or that they can be redeemed full,
It is the camaraderie, that a bunch of us who could have been given up on, are being forged into His people, those He has called together, bound together in Christ, whom we share the body and blood of Jesus with together. We will go through death together, knowing that He has led us through it.
On a mission from God….. sacrficing and serving, because of His mercy!
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3042-3045). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.