Monday, October 12, 2009

Thielecke: beyond anesthetics

Monday, October 12, 2009
    Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
    Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845
    [Jesus:] In hell, where [the rich man] was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with [the beggar] Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
    —Luke 16:23-24 (NIV)
    Life provides all kinds of astonishingly effective anodynes and narcotics, all of which are nothing but misused gifts of God. But now in hell, that is, beyond a fixed boundary set by God, all the securities and safeguards disappear into thin air. What here is only a tiny flame of secret self-reproach that flickers up occasionally and is quickly smothered, there becomes a scorching fire. What here is no more than a slight ticking sound in our conscience suddenly becomes the trumpet tone of judgment which can no longer be ignored. Lazarus is permitted to see what he believed, but the rich man is compelled to see what he did not believe.
    ... Helmut Thielecke (1908-1986), The Waiting Father: the parables of Jesus, New York: Harper & Row, 1975, p. 48 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have returned from death so that Your people might believe and be saved.
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