LICHTSTRAHL 136 GOSPEL: MATTHEW 7 (1-14) TRINITY 30.7.23
ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW GATE
The gospel often makes use of the images of a plant to make something clear about the being and becoming of humanity. When the Christ Jesus uses the different images of a plant, he is not yet speaking in clear words about the full truth. He is then paving a way for those who cannot understand the clear teachings yet. And so he often uses the image of a plant.
The image of a plant when it is still either a seed, or when it is at the point of germination, or when it enters into the phase of growth - growing a stem to stand upright , forming branches to connect with its surrounding, producing leaves to be nourished by the sun - and finally when it is producing a blossom with seeds as the ultimate aim of its being. All these images can become very helpful to understand the being and life of humankind.
If a plant has germinated, it starts to grow, forming a strong stem and many leaves. We see the result of the working of strong and active lifeforces, bringing the plant into existence, letting it grow for a long time and then finally prepare the unfolding of a blossom. What does however happen to that impressive and noticeable growth just before the plant enters into the stage of making a bud for the flower? Usually we are not observant of this phase, but it is extremely important. Everything visible from the outside seems to come to a halt. There is not much growth any more, the stem becomes thinner und more vulnerable. The leaves undergo a significant change – they change their colour, their shape and become thinner and smaller. It is a motionless moment of complete vulnerability, selflessness, of being connected with the cosmos, and awaiting something sigfnificant and beautiful, something that is carrying future.
Surely we are allowed and encouraged to take this image of a plant and use it as an image if we struggle about the words and the teachings of todays gospelreading. They are not made for the time when we are growing, getting strong, connect to our surrounding world and have to unfold our every day ego to find our orientation in life. There we are asked to judge, to measure with our own individual measure, to stop asking for help and assistance and take up responsibility. There we are walking on the broad path with all the others to become an active, visible and competitive member of our society.
But then there are also the moments, when all the outside activities come to halt. When a moment of standstill enters into our lives. They do come anyway, for everybody and at any moment in their lives. But we can also consciously ask for them to come. For that we need total selflessness, as we can observe it in the plant entering into the phase of forming a blossom. Then the Christ can teach us the conditions under which we will meet our highest inner destiny and can start to unfold blossoms in our lives.
On our way towards Michaelmas we need to realize as human beings , that we have in fact grown very strong – but that out of that strength and freedom we need to ask, to seek and to knock at the door of Him, who is leading us on into forming the blossoms of humankind.
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