Archive for June 1st, 2021

Biography:  born at the beginning of the second century, Justin was raised in a pagan family. He was student of philosophy who converted to the Christian faith and became a teacher in Ephesus and Rome. After refusing to make pagan sacrifices, he was arrested, tried and executed, along with six other believers. They were beheaded.  The official Roman court proceedings of his trial before Rusticius, a Roman prelate, document his confession of faith. The account of his martyrdom became a source of great encouragement to the early Christian community. Much of what we know of early liturgical practice comes from Justin.

Justin’s search for truth is aptly summed up in the Collect of the Day that he was, “…wandering from teacher to teacher, searching for the true God.”  This is summed up in Scripture passages describing man’s reason, unaided by revelation and God’s Word, is not stable.  First, the Apostle Paul’s exhortation that we,

“…may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4: 14)

St. Luke’s observation of the philosophers in the Areopagus when the Apostle had his noted visit as recorded in Acts:

“Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.” (Acts 17: 21)

Then there is the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to his brother in the Holy Ministry, Timothy:

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”  (2 Timothy 2: 3-4)

This sounds like our time!  The only aspect of this futile search for instruction by ourselves, wandering from teacher to teacher, self-help book to guru, which has significantly changed since Justin’s days on earth is this:  going from religion to religion, teacher to teacher, preacher to preacher goes at break-neck speed with information technologies

 Our times are like quicksand.  As the prophet Isaiah preached:

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
and he will be the stability of your times,
    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.

Friend in Christ: turn off your smart phone more and more!  Don’t be quick to post but to pray.  Turn off your TV more and more, don’t watch the boob tube but watch, say, the sunset with your husband or wife.  Don’t read the media, as they report facts that are questionable, with no truth, instead read a good book to cleanse your mind. Pray as the urge strikes to grab your phone, keyboard, or remote:

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
    and give me life in your ways. (Ps. 119: 37, ESV)


Justin Martyr is also the source of the pattern of the Divine Service we have to this very day: see here for quotes.

A Study of Church Hist ry Eras of

He and his fellow Christians, as we, do not live in a “virtual” church, but the real one, His Body, with the Lord at the Head and center of the Communion.  Christians at times had to worship clandestinely, at great risk, now we capitulate to soccer practices on Sundays and many false practices allowing the culture, even the state, to come after us.  The martyrdom of Justin was an important witness and encouragement to the Church, as it is for us today. The Lord has called us to where we be fed and lead. The Lord is the stability of our times, man is not, and in Christ, we are stabilized upon the Rock of Salvation.  This Rock is so sturdy that Justin faced martyrdom.  His martyrdom is itself an exhortation to abide in the Lord in His Church where He said He will be and is.  In these helter-skelter days, it is good to  rest in His unchanging grace and hearken to what Moses said to the people of Israel with Pharoah in hot pursuit, and the Red Sea in front of them:

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14: 14)

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