The Inescapable Christ

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Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.

We saw yesterday  that Jesus was coming back again—coming back out of sheer necessity. I stood in the Mosque of Saint Sophia in Constantinople, formerly a Christian cathedral. All the Christian symbols had been wiped out and replaced by verses from the Koran. As I stood at the back and looked at the dome over what had been the Christian altar, I held my breath. There was the figure of the ascending Christ plainly seen coming back through the daubs of the centuries. They couldn’t wipe Him out. That is true everywhere. Sheer necessity cries out for Him.

He shines through the prejudices and the philosophical thinking of India. In an extreme nationalist paper of India this appeared: “Calvary, where another great man of the East suffered martyrdom for the sins of the world, has today its counterpart in Yervada [the jail where Gandhi was kept] where our Mahatma suffers martyrdom for the thraldom of the world. Just as Calvary stood for the world’s sinners, so Yervada stands for the world’s downtrodden.” A Hindu chairman said, “The problems of the day arise through the lack of the Spirit of Jesus in the affairs of men.” A Japanese cabinet minister said, “How can you account for the immense increase of labor unrest since the war? It is Christianity at work among the people; the working man is testing Christ’s preaching of larger life and freedom.” An outstanding philosopher of India said, “We had high ideas of God before Jesus came. But Jesus is the highest expression of God we have seen. He is conquering us through the sheer force of His own person against our wills.” Another Hindu, speaking on “The Inescapable Christ,” said, “We have not been able to escape Him. There was a time when our hearts were bitter and sore against Him, but He is melting them by His sheer winsomeness. Jesus is slowly but surely entering all men in India—yea, all men.” The light of God is falling on the mirror of our needs, and the Crucified is encircled before us.

THE PRAYER

 O Jesus, Thou art the inescapable. Thou art conquering us, and we want to be conquered, for when we are conquered by Thee we are free. Then our hearts are open to Thy conquest—freedom. Take us, make us. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY

 If I escape Him, I escape from salvation.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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