I have come to enjoy the simple lessons of the brothers at the monastery. Brother Rob shared a simple truth about the parables, in that some parables are meant to show us the incomprehensible grace of Christ, and others are meant to explain the reality of life. We always have to ask what it tells us about the gospel.
In the parable of the virgins who forget to keep the oil in their lamps and miss out on the wedding. I have often read the parable and thought of how mean it is to not allow someone into a party because they were unprepared. Why didn't anyone help them. The tough reality of life is that we can either live life in apathy and frustration of the realities of life or stay awake in hope of God and his perfect will. No one can stay awake for us. It will not work. At some point we have to come to God on our own.
I struggle with this here when dealing with the issues of entitlement. Often the morale of people is so low and fatalistic, that many people just expect the work to be done for them, or find excuses why the work cannot be done. Through the example of my father, I am learning, that living in hope is a day to day effort. Day to day we have to stay open to the the call and presence of God. It comes only with practice. Our faith should be invested just as much in our daily effort to know Christ and live a life worthy of his name as it is in the end goal of a life eternal. Living a life of faith comes only with practice. The corresponding reading was from the book of wisdom in the old testament which said (Matt Kellen paraphrased), if we look for wisdom, she will not be hard to find. So true..... if we leave our hearts exposed to God and hands willing to be used, by God's grace he will direct us.
Sorry about the sermon. The words of Brother Rob rang so true to me and I wanted to share the blessing of solid preaching.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday of last week was the launch of the Foundation for Literacy Day. The hassle of invitations and power points and organizing catering is not my cup of tea. We gathered about 50 people. The emphasis of the Literacy Day was to introduce the community and the schools to the curriculum we will be providing training and materials for. The curriculum is called Breakthrough to Literacy by the Molteno Institute of Language and Literacy. The premise as that we teach students reading skills from their home language and teach explicitly pre-reading concepts before teaching the abc's. The Foundation for Literacy Day has been appraised as a success by my superiors. I will take it and leave my personal criticisms to myself. It is nice to have the formalities out of the way so I can get to the nitty gritty in the classrooms. I am still naively optimistic about my work next year. I will enjoy it while I can.