Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Alexander Mack Legacy

Alexander Mack was a truly humble man, and out of his humility he fashioned the most precious gift he could leave his spiritual progeny: a vision of life always open to new guidance by God through Christ, to new understandings of truth, and to new expressions of faith.

If, in his illness, he uttered prayers for his brethren and sisters, he certainly would have prayed that they love one another, keeping ever before them the vision of a community ruled by God in love and peace, rather than by man in greed and violence.

And, if in his last days his memories turned back to his wife and two daughters buried in Europe, to the loss of his homeland, and to the alienation from his family in Schriesheim, Mack may have counseled the friends who gathered around his bed:

If you have learned from Him the teaching as it is outwardly commanded in the [New] Testament, so that you will remain steadfast in it, and resolve yourself to sacrifice your life, your property, family, yes, all that you have in the whole world ... you must become used to taking his cross upon yourself daily....

Mack must have pondered deeply the drastic changes which had occurred in his own lifetime. As a young man he had made a "covenant of good conscience" with God. During his lifetime he had "counted the cost" many times, had "fought a good fight," and had remained faithful to the transcendent vision he had received of the human possibilities within a disciplined, supportive, Christ-centered community. Confident also in the mysterious realm existing beyond human life, he could proclaim:

Blessings and glories of such great dignity will be obtained through Christ that no human tongue can express it, nor can be described what God has prepared for those who love him.

Source: Counting the Cost: The Life of Alexander Mack, by William G. Willoughby