[Wealth] is an excellent gift of God, answering the noblest ends. In the hands of his children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked. It gives to the traveler and the stranger where to lay his head. By it we may supply the place of an husband to the widow, and of a father to the fatherless; We may be a defense for the oppressed, a means of health to the sick, of ease to them that are in pain. It may be as eyes to the blind, as feet to the lame; yea, a lifter up from the gates of death.”
Sermon 50, The Use of Money
You know that I have a difficult time inviting people to things that are of an “official” nature related to myself. Somewhere along the way I developed this knee-jerk, over-response to anything that might appear less than genuine. Sometimes, as a church worker, I’ve wondered if in the back of people’s heads there’s this idea of that somehow an invitation by a church worker comes across as “working” my relationships for the benefit of the institution or having a mixed agenda (the success of the program vs. really caring for people).
His finger cut through the sand and dirt. It wasn’t the first time he had seen his finger write in the the flesh of the earth. On the mountain he had written the words in the stone. He had given them to his people, those he had chosen to make his own. Words that were meant for life.
And this is what they had done with it. They had taken the very words meant for life and twisted them into an excuse to accuse and rain down death with stones, lists to decide who was right and who was wrong, who was in and who was out. His words, their lists.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever bailed out on a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.”
—Stephen Presfield, The War of Art
Chris Tilling has posted the following quote from Ernst Kasemann:
‘Every simplification which forces the original variety of voices [of the biblical texts] into a well trodden path, is sin against the Spirit’!
—(from his essay “Justification and salvation-history in Romans”
Kasemann in Pauline Perspectives – Tilling’s translation from the German original, p. 118)