The Offering Of Your Faith kiwiconnexion practical theology
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I’m David Bell for kiwiconnexion.nz We begin today by putting together two sentences
from two completely different worlds. First, from the Book of Acts some 2000 years
ago, the great speech by St Peter – I now realise that it’s true that God treats
everyone on the same basis: whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to
him. Second sentence, from R S Thomas, a most exacerbating
Welsh poet and Anglican clergyman of the 20th century –
Present yourself with your need only and the simple offering of your faith, green as a
leaf. Between these two vastly different worlds
is, of course, the faith connexion. It�s often been marvelled over that the
rough fisherman, from Galilee, could be so transformed by his faith and his experiences,
as to get up and make compelling speeches to crowds and to officials, even to the threat
of death. Many took offence at, ‘I now realise that
it’s true that God treats everyone on the same basis’, because this is a conscious rejection
that only chosen people can have a special relationship with God. Now R S Thomas is as vastly different a character,
as you could imagine. He was a Church of England vicar, who served all his ministry in Welsh
villages. He was an ardent champion of the Welsh language. In one respect, however, he
was like St Peter – he could make brilliant speeches, although they were in the form of
poems. By and large, his ministry was an abject failure.
He was off-side with most of his parishioners. His congregations were minuscule, mostly due
to this failure to manage people properly. He was so ardent about the Welsh language,
he became intolerant of any Welshman who couldn�t speak Welsh. Two thousand years ago, Peter had opened up
his mind and heart to new possibilities, a wide, wide horizon. Two thousand years later
R S Thomas, deliberately chose to narrow his focus, to a very narrow Welsh landscape, or
better, I should say, an inscape of the mind. Yet surprisingly, astonishingly, R S Thomas
wrote out of that narrowness to reveal a panorama, as wide as St Peter’s. His are among the greatest
and most sublime poems of faith in English today. They go on revealing our needs in our
own time and place. Out of the narrowing, as we see and hear and
taste the kingdom, we must expect to find the unexpected. As Thomas writes, quote, inside
it there are quite different things going on. Unquote. You ask, what kind of things going on in this
kingdom? And he replies, we taste it when our effort or industry is for mending bent
bones, and minds fractured by life. That�s it. That’s the point of need which
we bring. Two great Christian minds and hearts, two
thousand years apart: finding the same truth and inviting us to feel it, live it, and share
it. If you enjoyed this video please subscribe,
share and like in YouTube, and do join us in some of our kiwiconnexion resources in
the information section below. Thanks for watching.

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