Monthly Archives: November 2013

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

National Debt – A European, nay, Western Pastime.

Whose fault is it, or is that even the right question?  We were in Spain recently, Barcelona, and it got me thinking.  Apparently their debt is simply awful in its magnitude, and unlikely to be paid by the best of Catalonia intentions.  So who is going to pay the bill?

If I approach a man in the street, something I didn’t do, and ask him how he is going to help the answer is likely a blank stare – at best.  Other options are probable.  More likely he will blame an overspending government, who will in turn blame a demanding electorate/public.  Not much luck there.

It is actually impossible for an individual to pay the debt, and even if they got generous with their pay, donating it all to the national debt, it wouldn’t appear on the radar as anything of significance.  I doubt it could even be considered a token.   A token is something you can see.

If you asked the community to take collective responsibility it is equally unlikely that you will dent the debt.  Why?

We are so used to thinking individually that taking collective responsibility will always be something ‘every one else’ should do.  And yet this is part of the answer –  thinking like communities that have to sacrifice and work together in a way that the whole is seen as more holy than the parts.

‘We’ isn’t just lots of ‘me’s’ – its much more.  It is a community that realises in its unified being/centre that action is greater than what one can do, and more than we can allow one not to do.  But this is either legislated (the poor option) or volunteered (the impossible option –  almost).

The way out is not like the way in – spending, demanding and acquiring.  It requires an agreement of soul before it ever becomes an agreement of action.  And it means less of me and more of us.  This may be too much for us!

Who  is going to start?  Whose fault is it anyway?
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Some Questions Are Better Not Asked!!

In Matthew 17 Jesus answers the disciple’s question – a loaded question, about who was the greatest.    They obviously imagined that one of them, jostling for position, or maybe one of the great prophets, would get the vote/nod.  Jesus answer was both surprising and shocking, and entailed a stern warning.

Many of our questions are loaded with presuppositions and preferential answers.  Theirs certainly was.  So imagine the jaw dropping surprise when he installed a child amongst them.  His answer, initially but not eventually, didn’t even address their question.

He stated that unless you become like a child, and enter with repentance and trust you won’t even get into the Kingdom, let alone be seen as being great in that kingdom.  Personal ambition and adult reasoning don’t open this door.  On the contrary, they double padlock the door.

Greatness is not a position, an attainment, an office, something earned, something grasped for, something you get by reason of seniority/longevity – it is an attitude of simple trust like that of a child, when the proper object of trust is in front of them – such a parent or a family member.

The paradox is that greatness is never the goal and only ever an outcome.  If you look for it alludes you; if you don’t seek it, it comes to you.

So once again the way up is the way down.

But as a warning about how we may treat a child, Jesus issues a severe warning about the better option for those who cause, “one of these little ones who believe in me to sin.”   

Not only is a child an example of how to enter and be great in the Kingdom, but also a believing child is a precious person to the Lord, and it is best to treat them with respect and grace, unless you wish to incur his protective wrath.

Guess they wished they didn’t asked – but best that they did.


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