Sunday, October 24, 2021

Offcentre sparklets 2) 'where no oxen are the crib is clean'

How would you apply these 7 words from Proverbs 14:4? Hutton comments that ' there is one way in which you can have a clean crib and that is if you cease keeping oxen'. And that's not what cribs are for!  Uncleanness means unrest and turbulence but also life and action. Indeed, quietness, tameness and regularity  may be signs of death. 'Our religion prepares us not for a kind of life which shall be like a well-trimmed paddock, but for life which shall always demand heroism and supply the material and opportunity even for tragedy....The fact is we must take care of allowing ourselves to be afraid of the legitimate signs of life'.

And what particularly should we be afraid of for the best reasons?  In every age, the most authentic signs of life, and of new life, must come naturally from those who are young...the 'rising generation'.  We must take care not to be afraid of youth.  Such fear or suspicion of youth on our part is not fair. We were once young ourselves; and it is to our shame if when we were young we never had the passion to change something. An old head on young shoulders is a sad sight.

Therefore we should cultivate an hospitable way of looking at is true that we who are older might combine to thwart the impulses of the rising generation and to turn back into darkness the venturesomeness of those who are now young. But even if we could succeed in such a policy, it would be one of those successes which would be more costly than any defeat. We might have a clean crib, but no oxen. The thing might serve our day and have the semblance of quietness.  But we do die; and if we do not cherish and invite and honor and trust the generation which just now is fresh and restless, why, it is not peace that we have secured but only a silent wilderness'

I know the language is dated but what a challenge.  Our church is currently seeing increasing influence of the rising generation!  Oh, to welcome the unrest and turbulence!

No comments: