Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Didache 3

Here is another section of my translation of the Didache from chapter 16:
1- Be mindful of your life; don't let your lamp be extinguished.  Do not grow weary, but be prepared; for you do not know the hour in which the Lord will return.
2- Meet together frequently, seeking what is proper for your souls, for your journey of faith will not benefit you unless you complete the journey.
This is the last exhortation in this short teaching, immediately followed by a mini-apocalypse.  This document is a distillation of the Christian life, from proper actions to proper worship (there is a section dealing with communion, baptism, fasting, and prayer).  As I mentioned before, there is little in the way of doctrinal theology, but it's purpose is to help people "complete the journey".  Christians in the first century faced incredible challenges, fears, and difficulties (not unlike Christians in the twenty-first century) and this little handbook provides concrete teachings to help believers "be prepared".  
This "preparation" is rooted in fellowship.  In verse two, we are told to "meet together frequently" and "seeking what is proper for your souls" is a communal activity.  These early believers understood the great need they had for each other...a concept lost on many contemporary believers.  We need each other; it is the only way for us to "complete the journey".

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