Thursday, October 14, 2010

2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:5

Pentecost +21 - Year C

2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:5

"All scripture is inspired. . . ." Mine, certainly. Yours, certainly, Theirs, certainly.

The purpose of scripture or prayer or dreaming is to be "proficient, equipped for every good work".

Paul sees everything through his converted eyes, but it doesn't take much imagination to know that if I've been converted once, I can be so again and be just as passionate about the next "real truth" as this one. So the quotes above do stand out, not as religion specific, but the best wisdom of each of them.

If we also broaden Paul's encouragement to Timothy in the last part of this pericope, we can see the value of persistence and education. We are to keep at what we know until it is time for us to move to our next learning. We are to keep learning or we cease being effectively persistent and become merely rote. These are matters that pertain to every faith tradition and stage of life.

Our danger point is that of modern-day fundamentalism (and other -isms, whatever their disguise) that seems incapable of learning, requires a fealty of conformity to the past, and is willing to cut off its own for the transgression of not being in lockstep. For further explication of this issue of narcissism you may be interested in an article in Rolling Stone, Matt Tiabbi on the Tea Party.

Our point of opportunity is that of an openness and expectation of learning that will move us beyond where we are, measuring ourselves against our hope rather than our accomplishments, and intentionally looking to increase the community.

Inasmuch as this week has focused a bit on prayer let me conclude by indicating a blessing that allows one to not only walk a mile in another's life, but to pray their prayers, dream their dreams. If you are a conscious prayer, this is a week in which you might practice prayer forms from different traditions. If you are not a conscious prayer, this is a week in which you might try shaping your yearning, for something larger or better than we currently experience in our common life, into words. Both avenues will assist you to be proficient in every good work and model for others the possibility for such in their own life.

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