Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sayers: the Kingdom of Heaven

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Ash Wednesday
    Commemoration of Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543
    [Jesus:] “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.”
    —Matthew 13:47-48 (NIV)
    “The Kingdom of Heaven,” said the Lord Christ, “is among you.” But what, precisely, is the Kingdom of Heaven? You cannot point to existing specimens, saying, “Lo, here!” or “Lo, there!” You can only experience it. But what is it like, so that when we experience it we may recognize it? Well, it is a change, like being born again and relearning everything from the start. It is secret, living power—like yeast. It is something that grows, like seed. It is precious like buried treasure, like a rich pearl, and you have to pay for it. It is a sharp cleavage through the rich jumble of things which life presents: like fish and rubbish in a draw-net, like wheat and tares; like wisdom and folly; and it carries with it a kind of menacing finality; it is new, yet in a sense it was always there—like turning out a cupboard and finding there your own childhood as well as your present self; it makes demands, it is like an invitation to a royal banquet—gratifying, but not to be disregarded, and you have to live up to it; where it is equal, it seems unjust; where it is just it is clearly not equal—as with the single pound, the diverse talents, the labourers in the vineyard, you have what you bargained for; it knows no compromise between an uncalculating mercy and a terrible justice—like the unmerciful servant, you get what you give; it is helpless in your hands like the King’s Son, but if you slay it, it will judge you; it was from the foundations of the world; it is to come; it is here and now; it is within you. It is recorded that the multitudes sometimes failed to understand.
    ... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement, London: Golanz, 1963, p. 281 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 13:47-48,24-30,33,44-46; 20:1-16; 22:1-14; Mark 4:26-29; Luke 13:20-21; 15:8-10; 16:1-9; John 3:3-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I was a spiritual zero, and You have given me the Kingdom. Blessed is Your Name.
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