A picture painted by Clement of Rome

I’m continuing to read the early church fathers, and this week I read some Clement of Rome. The following chapter is one of the more beautiful I came across in Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians. It feels like it could have come right out of the book of Psalms, or maybe Job. It paints a tremendous picture of God as Creator and sovereign over creation. I love reading passages like this. They are big. They are bold and powerful. They show God as the One who reigns supreme over His creation, and to think the same God saved me, loves me, and calls me one of His own is humbling. Chapter 20 of his Epistle to the Corinthians:

The heavens revolve by His arrangement and are subject to Him in peace. Day and night complete the revolution ordained by Him, and neither interferes in the least with the other. Sun and moon and the starry choirs, obedient to His arrangement, roll on in harmony, without any deviation, through their appointed orbits. The earth bears fruit according to His will in its proper seasons, and yields the full amount of food required for men and beasts and all the living things on it, neither wavering nor altering any of His decrees. The unsearchable decisions that govern the abysses and the inscrutable decisions that govern the deeps are maintained by the same decrees. The basin of the boundless sea, firmly built by His creative act for the collection of the waters, does not burst the barriers set up all around it, and does precisely what has been assigned to it. For He said: Thus far shalt though come, and thy billows shall be turned to spray within thee. The ocean, impassable for men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same decrees of the Master. The seasons–spring, summer, autumn, and winter–make room for one another in peaceful succession. The stations of the winds at the proper time render their service without disturbance. Ever-flowing springs, created for enjoyment and for health, without fail offer to men their life-sustaining breasts. The smallest of the animals meet in peaceful harmony. All these creatures the mighty Creator and Master of the universe ordained to act in peace and concord, thus benefitting the universe, but most abundantly ourselves who have taken refuge under His mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory and majesty forever and evermore. Amen.

Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians (Ch. 20) 


Where the Shepherd is

In an effort to make good on #7 of my Theological 13 for 2013, I’ve been reading St. Ignatius of Antioch. I don’t have much to add to the below passage (except that the translator makes St. Ignatius sound like Yoda at times, no complaints here), so I’ll let Ignatius do my talking :

Being born, then, of the light of truth, shun division and bad doctrines. Where the Shepherd is, there you, being sheep, must follow. For, many wolves there are, apparently worthy of confidence, who with the bait of baneful pleasure seek to capture the runners in God’s race; but if you stand united, they will have no success.

-Ignatius of Antioch, Ignatius to the Philadelphians 2:1-2