Kempis on Lovers of the Cross

The Imitation of Christ
By Thomas à Kempis

Jesus hath now many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, 
but few bearers of His Cross.
He hath many that are desirous of consolation, 
but few of tribulation.
He finds many companions of His table, 
but few of His abstinence.
All desire to rejoice with Him, 
but few are willing to endure anything for His sake.
Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, 
but few to the drinking of the chalice of His Passion.
Many reverence His miracles, 
but few follow the ignominy of His Cross.
Many love Jesus as long as they meet with no adversity, 
Many praise Him and bless Him as long as they receive 
some consolations from Him.
But if Jesus hid Himself, and leave them for a little while, 
they either murmur or fall into excessive dejection.

— Thomas à Kempis (1379 - 1471), from IMITATIO CHRISTI (THE IMITATION OF CHRIST), as collected in 2000 YEARS SINCE BETHLEHEM: IMAGES OF CHRIST THROUGH THE CENTURIES, compiled by Janice T. Grana, Upper Room Books, 1998. [The oldest book I own is a 1726 copy of THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, in Italian, published in Vienna. Other than the Bible, this book is the most widely translated book in Christian literature.]


Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from the quill of Thomas à Kempis, a 15th-century priest and devotional writer. The author, in his THE IMITATION OF CHRIST deals with what it means to identify with Christ's suffering. It makes clear the weakness of being a fair-weather follower of Jesus—certainly not a biblical view.

For more biographical information on Thomas a Kempis, take a look at:

To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.