Thoughts for Tuesday 9th June, 2020

Psalm 29; Job 39:13-25; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13

 Tuesday 9 June - Rev.Jerry Eve

 An Archbishop of Canterbury during World War II, William Temple was a remarkable man. He died in 1944, and it’s a great shame he didn’t live beyond the age of 63 years old. He has, though, left us numerous helpful quotations along the lines of the following:

 “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.”

 “When I pray coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.”

 “It is a mistake to suppose that God is only, or even chiefly, concerned with religion.”

 There’s another one I like, and which I think is pertinent to our New Testament reading for today, and that’s:

 “Christianity is the most materialistic of all great religions.”

 St Paul’s I Corinthians 12 is interesting in this respect because while he begins by talking about spiritual matters, in order to explain what he means, he very quickly starts to talk about the material realm instead. And that, I find, is incredibly helpful.

 There are nine ‘gifts’ of the Spirit, otherwise known as charisms, and here they are listed as: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongue and interpretation. You don’t need to have all of them, and that’s the point Paul is making. But everyone does have at least one of them. It’s Christ’s Body (i.e. the Church) that needs all of them, and Christ’s body that needs us to be a physical part of it.

 And that’s what William Temple was driving at, and what St Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582), another remarkable church leader and teacher, meant as well when she wrote the following prayer. Let’s pray it now:

 Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks
With compassion on this world.

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Those who have God
Find they lack nothing;
God alone suffices, Amen

 


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