Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Urge to Protect (Contain?)

There are two episodes in the Gospels which parallel my friends' desire to protect the lith.

In Matthew 17: 1-8(The Transfiguration), Peter, when seeing Jesus in glory, with Moses and Elijah, wants to make a tent for each of them.

Again, in John 18:1-11, when soldiers arrive to arrest Jesus, Peter seeks to defend him with a sword.

Both are entirely natural reactions; the first, a very human need to ritualize and celebrate that which is beyond our understanding. The danger inherent in this is that it can so easily become a mechanism to contain and 'domesticate', and to limit the limitless within our own framework.
In the second case, Peter was rightly wishing to protect his friend from harm, but had failed to comprehend that powerlessness and harm were a necessary part of God becoming man. And how could he have comprehended such a counter-intuitive action on the part of the all-powerful? Is it really possible for us to grasp it even now?

I would welcome your thoughts on the subject.

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