a friday quote: doing the work of the Lord

This quote is from the commemoration of Mellitus, First Bishop of London, 624.
The Church has always found it easier to fulfill her priestly than her prophetic role. The temptation to institutionalism is always with us, and who will profess himself guiltless? We reduce Christianity to the service of an institution, the Church, for this enables us to be active in what is fondly called “the work of the Lord,” while at the same time failing to grapple with the fundamental problem for all Christians, that of winning our generation for Christ.

In our little circle of like-minded people we condemn outsiders because they do not come in. Perhaps we even make half-hearted attempts to get them to come in. And then we snuggle down again in the warmth of our fellowship, comforted that we have done all that might reasonably be expected of men in our situation. Fortified with this consolation we concentrate on keeping the institution, the Church, running as it should.

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