August 22, 2013

Lines (12)

Continuing notes from "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"

Chapter 13     Humility      Psalm 131

pg 145  "Christian faith needs continuous maintenance."
Psalm 131 is a psalm of maintenance - a pruning psalm.

pg 146  "All cultures throw certain stumbling blocks in the way of those who pursue gospel realities."  (snip) "The way of faith deals with realities in whatever time or whatever culture."

pg 147-148  A discussion of the story of John Faustus and the way our culture has become Faustian to applause & admiration.  "It is difficult to recognize pride as a sin when it is held up on every side as a virtue, as profitable, and rewarded as achievement."

pg 149  "Our lives are only lived well when they are lived in terms of their creation, with God loving and we being loved, with God making and we being made, with God revealing and we understanding, with God commanding and we responding.  Being a Christian means accepting the terms of creation, accepting God as our maker and redeemer, and growing day by day into an increasingly glorious creature in Christ, developing joy, experiencing love, maturing in peace. By the grace of Christ we experience the marvel of being made in the image of God. If we reject this way the only alternative is to attempt the hopelessly fourth-rate, embarrassingly awkward imitation of God made in the image of man."

pg 150 "Christian faith is not neurotic dependency but childlike trust. We do not have a God who forever indulges our whims but a God whom we trust with our destinies."

pg 153  "We need pruning. Cut back to our roots, we then learn this psalm (131) and discover the quietness of the weaned child, the tranquility of maturing trust. it is such a minute psalm that many have overlooked it, but for all its brevity and lack of pretense, it is essential. For every Christian encounters problems of growth and difficulties of development."

pg 154 "And that is what Psalm 131 nurtures: a quality of calm confidence and quiet strength which knows the difference between unruly arrogance and faithful aspiration, knows how to discriminate between infantile dependency and childlike trust, and chooses to aspire and to trust - and to sing, "Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in its mother's arms, as content as a child that has been weaned.""