Circles (vicious and virtuous) and the Parable of Talents
Archives for August 2010
Faith is acting upon what you feel God calling you to do with no guarantees as to whether it will work or not.
Walking into the Red Sea. Hoping, believing the waters will part. An act of sheerest insanity. An acting upon what you, or one in whom you put your absolute faith, is absolutely sure is the clearest word of God.
It comes down to that with tithing, for instance. Christ says, Give and you shall receive, full measure, pressed down, flowing over. Will we? We have to try it to see. What’s more, give without telling anyone. Cut off any possibility of any reward except from God.
And He breathed on them, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
And just like that, they did.
That’s brilliant. For that is why we need. The Holy Spirit to sort out our spirits. To give us wisdom. Self-control. Temperance. Peace. Calm.
And as Jesus says, we receive this gift just by asking for it.
The Gospel is indeed good news.
Many years ago, I was in a Bible study with a large, dramatic lady. When the regular leader was away, she was asked to lead the study.
She enacted the exchange of David and Jonathan with Jonathan giving David everything in this covenant between a prince and a shepherd. It was like the exchange we have going with Christ. I give you my love for what it’s worth, Jesus, and you give me….Everything!
As she enacted it, she broke down and became tearful. I told Roy with some displeasure, “What a loud, overly dramatic woman.”
Roy said, “Maybe as you grow older, you appreciate it more.”
And so indeed one does. The free gift, the free goodness, the free comfort, the sheer generosity of the Gospel is indeed, as its name says, Good News.
I enjoyed the Oxford Shakespeare Company’s production of “Anthony and Cleopatra” in the gardens of Trinity College. Trinity at dusk looks more like a stately home than a college.
The production of this perennially moving play was professional and gripping–the story of a gifted soldier and politician who finds deeper satisfaction in lust/love than in soldiership, empire, fame and wealth in competition with Octavius Caesar who was cold-bloodedly and whole-heartedly focused on his own success and advancement. As C.S. Lewis often says, at some level, people do get what they whole-heartedly seek; someone as single-mindedly focused on Empire and power would be far more likely to achieve that than one with Anthony’s divided distracted heart.
I love travelling, and have travelled in well over 30 countries, and in every continent but Africa.
However, my favourite country to travel in, hands down, is Ireland.
It is beautiful and green. It is full of history, mythic, magic and mysticism. It has a poetic pagan past, those wonderful Druids, and an equally poetic early Christian history. It is tragic. It has wonderful place names, full of poetry in themselves. It has nurtured wonderful poets like Yeats and Heaney.
However, it is the people who make a place, and I love the Irish. I love their accents, their use of English, their gentleness, their good humour, and their helpfulness.
I think whenever I need a break, I will escape to Ireland if I can.
However, I would not like to live there permanently. It is too homogenous a society. What on earth would I do among all those O’Leary’s and McLoughlins? I still think England is the best place for a citizen of the world, with a reasonably diverse population, and a fairly open-minded, tolerant and accepting indigenous population.
We are now in Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Going on another hike around a lake or two, and then heading for the Rosslare Beaches. We have had splendid weather, it’s never rained when we’ve wanted to hike, and it’s warm, but not hot. No need for jumpers or coats.