“My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more, but ask pardon for thy former sins. Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent: for if thou comest too near it, it will bite thee: the teeth thereof are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls of men. All iniquity is as a two edged sword, the wounds whereof cannot be healed.” (Reference: Sirach 21:1-3 )
Yesterday’s dialogue between Preacher and Seeker was an interesting and illuminating one, if I say so myself. [That was my attempt at humor – I hope you smile beloved.] I find it helpful at times to set a scene apart from my personal/internal perspective, and imagine a conversation between two people – one seeking answers and being unsure, and the other sure of their own knowledge and faith and desirous to share and guide others. It is a didactic style that I hope engages your mind as well beloved.
This second passage from Sirach seems to be an echo of the day before. The writer of Sirach, also known as the book of Ecclesiasticus, addresses again the need to flee from sin and to be forgiven or pardoned. The historic Anabaptist quoted today, Jan Wouterss, writing to his fellow believers says in part, “live according to the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the works of the flesh . . .O my dear brother, take care for your salvation; the time here is so short, and eternity is at hand. O heavenly Father, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou wilt keep my only brother from all evil, and sanctify him in Thy name through Christ Jesus, and ever guide him by the Holy Spirit, that we may rejoice together hereafter. Amen. “ I like Wouterss stated desire that his fellow brothers and sisters be with him in the time to come, as I am sure they are. It is my wish for you also beloved. Selah!