LICHTSTRAHL 142 GOSPEL: Luke 17 (5-10,20-22) TRINITY 9 September 2023
THE KINGDOM OF GOD DOES NOT COME IN A FORM WHICH IS OUTWARDLY PERCEPTIBLE
“The kingdom of God does not come in a form which is outwardly perceptible.”…..
Trying to connect to these words of our today’s gospelreading purely in an intellectual way is difficult. Maybe it is of help to make use of an image, an imagination, a picture with which we can connect. Children live in this world of images and pictures all the time, that is why their faith is so strong. They only start losing it, when the intellect awakens in them. Maybe for us, who as adults of our time have left the world of images and live completely in the world of the intellect, a childrens’ story can be helpful in this case:
Once upon a time an old king died. He knew about a new land on the other side of the river, that was the border of his kingdom. That land was however was mostly covered in thick mist. Only in certain moments he could see this land. Then the sight of its beauty and abundance created a huge longing in his heart to lead his people into that land. But the time was not ripe yet for him to fulfill that mission. When he died, the older son took up his place on the throne and kept a watchful eye over the riches of his father’s kingdom. The younger son however could never forget the words of his father on his deathbed: BUILD A BRIDGE ACROSS THE RIVER AND LEAD OUR PEOPLE INTO THE NEW LAND! One day the king on the throne got irritated and made his younger brother the treasurer of his kingdom. That meant, that he would have to live in the dungeons, in a hall where all the riches were kept, never see the daylight anymore and count the gold coins that filled the seven great chests in the hall up to the brim. The younger prince cried out in agony about losing his freedom and being kept in the dark. But he had to do what was demanded and so started counting the gold. In the evening of that day there was a knock on the door. The old treasurer entered into the hall, old, white haired, walking with a stick and with a warm and loving voice said:
I have been living down here for seventy years. I have never seen the world of our kingdom out there anymore and I have experienced more freedom down here, than I would have ever experienced otherwise. He gave the prince some advice how to fulfill his given duties and at the same time gave him new tasks to fulfill. Then he left again. But he had given the prince patience, trust and deep faith.The end of the story is, that the prince managed to find a way to lead the people over a bridge of light and colour into the new land, just as his elder brother and the old kingdom were ruined and were swallowed up by the earth. The last people, that entered onto the bridge became witnesses to that.
Dear friends, strong images build strong faith and connect us with the realities of our destiny, which is leading us away from the outside world into an inner space. There we are all still in the dark, we all count our treasures daily, but there is that old treasurer. We all hear his voice constantly speaking in us – especially in the evenings of the day: “You will experience more freedom down there, than anywhere in the outer world”, and will find patience, trust and deep faith.
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