Wisdom from Chrysostom

John Chrysostom
Portrait Chrysostom of Antioch from the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (modern Istanbul)

Those sailors voyage over waters we can see and hear and feel. Although they are searching for this world’s goods, they continuously keep their minds watchful and alert. All the more must we keep ourselves prepared in the same way they do. Surely, the careless man faces a greater danger, while the sober man is more secure.1 This ship of ours is not constructed of timbers but is joined fast together by the divine Scriptures. The stars in the sky do not guide us on our way but the Sun of Justice2 steers our ship on its course. As we sit at the tiller, we are not waiting for the blasts of wind; we are waiting for the gentle breath of the Spirit.

John Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, 7.6; in vol. 72, The Fathers of the Church (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1984), 186.


  1. 1 Pet 5:8.
  2. Mal 4:2; see also Ps 18:4–11.

Author: Dale A. Brueggemann

1 thought on “Wisdom from Chrysostom

  1. Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding,
    Christ is nigh, it seems to say;
    “Cast away the works of darkness,
    O ye children of the day.” (Latin hymn, sixth century)

    Sleepers, wake! A voice astounds us,
    The shout of rampart guards surrounds us;
    “Awake, Jerusalem, arise!” (Reformation hymn, sixteenth century)

    Rejoice, rejoice, believers, and let your lights appear!
    The evening is advancing, and darker night is near.…
    Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear,
    Arise, thou Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere!
    (Lutheran hymn, eighteenth century)

    Lo, he comes with clouds descending,
    Once for our salvation slain;
    Thousand thousand saints attending
    Swell the triumph of his train.
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Christ the Lord returns to reign. (Charles Wesley, eighteenth century)

    From Fleming Rutledge, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ (Eerdmans , 2018), 25–26.

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