4.07.2010

Rest in Peace, Michael Spencer

It is hard to find appropriate words to say about the death of someone you don't really know, especially when you're two days late with the news. But Michael Spencer, the Baptist pastor known as The Internet Monk, encouraged my faith over and over through his writings. He wrote very honest and loving thoughts about Christ and the gospel; he wrote some of the fairest-minded things about Catholicism that I've heard from a Protestant writer. He is also the pastor whose article on the subject encouraged me to give Harry Potter a try, and since I consider that set of books as one of the reasons I'm still a Christian, even that is hardly a small impact. I will really miss reading his thoughts.

He spoke the truth over his then-approaching passing back in February:
"The ultimate apologetic is to a dying man.... There are a lot of different kinds of Good News, but there is little good news in “My argument scored more points than your argument.” But the news that “Christ is risen!” really is Good News for one kind of person: The person who is dying."
Honestly, of all the times of year ... We humans don't typically get to choose when we die, but the octave of Easter would be an almost ideal moment. Right when we're all thinking about resurrection.
"Indeed, the cure for death does exist. Christ is the tree of life, once more within our reach. If we remain close to him, then we have life. Hence, during this night of resurrection, with all our hearts we shall sing the alleluia, the song of joy that has no need of words. Hence, Paul can say to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4). Joy cannot be commanded. It can only be given. The risen Lord gives us joy: true life. We are already held for ever in the love of the One to whom all power in heaven and on earth has been given (cf. Mt 28:18). In this way, confident of being heard, we make our own the Church’s Prayer over the Gifts from the liturgy of this night: Accept the prayers and offerings of your people. With your help may this Easter mystery of our redemption bring to perfection the saving work you have begun in us. Amen."

--Benedict XVI, Easter Vigil homily
Denise Spencer and family, you have my prayers.

2 comments:

  1. I used Michael's apologetic to a dying man as part of my opening devotion at my elders' mtg last night. It certainly is a good corrective to what goes on in many of our churches where the focus is on anything but Christ & Him Crucified for our sins & raised for our justification.

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  2. It's a beautiful apologetic, George. What a piece to be among your last published writings. But Michael was always good at turning the focus back to Christ and His gospel.

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