They Left Their Blood On The Ground
Today we welcome a guest writer Fr. Andrew Wyns to Ancient Future Worship. Fr. Andrew is a priest, rugby player, and messianic Jew serving a parish in New York’s Hudson Valley…welcome Fr. Andrew.
“Being in communion with the past present and future. Last night as we hung out a friend brought up the concept of teaching
children about the martyrs. Though all agreed that the stories of the Martyrs were heroic and part of the faith there seemed to be an uneasiness when it came to the idea of sharing these stories with our children. Some one commented that we were all used to hearing bible stories but that hearing about the martyrs was foreign. When I think about it, how much does the average Christian know about the heroes of the faith. Sure they know New Testament personalities; Jesus, His disciples, Paul but what about after the close of the Scripture. Most Christians have a blank spot for about 1500 years and then, depending on their denominational tradition, up pops a hero of the faith. It is not as if their were no Christians during that 1500 year period. On the contrary Christianity spread from Jerusalem north to Moscow, south to Somalia, east to India, and west to Ireland all during the first 500 years. Are we missing a connection here? Should the average Christian be learning about Cyril and Methodius, Moses the Black, Cuthbert, or Gregory the Illuminator. Where is our faith tradition?
Assemblies of God theologian Simon Chan laments that as a movement the Pentecostal Churches have not done an adequate job “traditioning” the next generation. Each successive generation connects to a very recent point in history but their is almost a complete lack of connection to the church of the apostles. A major part of our faith is sharing the good news with the least, lost and lonely but that is only half the equation. The other half of the equation is for us, and new converts, to pass on the faith to subsequent generations. This can only be done when we are in communion with the past, as well as present, and future. G.K. Chesterton (the man who influenced both Tolkien and Lewis) stated, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” We are all actively seeking to pass on how it means to live out our faith in the present day. For an active believer that seems to be a “no brainer.” In the future our children will be wrestling with the same thing but in the context of their future reality. How are we anchored to the past? Who is telling our children about the great heroes of the faith? How do those heroes inform us today? Answering these questions places us in communion with the past, present and future.” – Fr. Andrew Wyns