Nearer Than Near

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Original photo by Darnok 

Daily Reformation, John 6:24-35

From the Reformer

The legend of St Christopher is no history, but a fiction composed by the Greeks, a wise, learned, and  imaginative people, in order to show what life that of a true Christian should be. They figure him a great, tall and strong man, who bears the child Jesus upon his shoulders, as the name Christopher indicates; but the child was heavy, so that he who carries him is constrained to bend under the burden. He traverses a raging and boisterous sea, the world, whose waves beat upon him, namely, tyrants, and factions, and the devil, who would fain bereave him of soul and life; but he supports himself by a great tree, as upon a staff; that is, God’s Word. On the other side of the sea stands an old man, with a lantern, in which burns a candle; this means the writings of the prophets. Christopher directs his steps thither, and arrives safely on shore, that is, at everlasting life. At his side is a basket, containing fish and bread; this signifies that God will here on earth nourish the bodies of his Christians, amid the persecutions, crosses and misfortunes which they must endure, and will not suffer them to die of hunger, as the world would have them. ‘Tis a fine Christian poem…

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

Where upon the sea of life do you find yourself? The shore? Upon the calm sea itself? Within the tempest? Near that farther shore? None of those answers suffice. The Christian must have his heart and mind firmly fixed upon that Farther Shore at all times and despite her circumstances. Jesus, who is the Far Shore is also nearer than near; he is within. Though you travel to that farther shore, he has come down to rescue you and fill you with his continual, peace-filled presence. Live in it; live in him.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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