Plant a garden and live by faith +

chinese garden

Yesterday Rev Corzine shared his plans to work on Oswald Bayer’s “Living by Faith” with his student group at the University of Pretoria tonight. Well, that’s a splendid idea really as we had found out in a previous class with the senior students at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Even Robert Kolb touches on this seminal work in his essay “Das Wirken des Hl.Geistes im 21. Jahrhundert” published in most recent volume of “Lutherische Beitraege” on pg.114: “Wir strengen uns tagtaeglich an, uns vor unserem Ehepartner, unsern Eltern, useren Kindern, unseren Chefs, unsern Nachbarn, manchmanl auch vor dem netten Polizisten, der meinte, wir seien zu schnell gefahren, zu rechtfertigen. Aber das Wort hat doch eine Verschiebung der Bedeutung im allgemeinen Gebrauch erlebt. Wir rechtfertigen uns oft durch Ausreden, durch den Versuch zu erklaeren, warum wir tun mussten, was wir haetten nicht tun duerfen.” And then follows his passage on a long-past discussion with a South African theologian on the relevance of Justification by faith even today and in our world – right here on the African continent. The issues are not so different in our country here in South Africa with its apartheid legacy, rife racism and ongoing xenophobia to that we find in the UK, USA and other areas confronted with conflicting communities. Kolb finds that the discourse and exchange with other Christians from across the globe broadens and deepens our own ideas and thoughts. He concludes that the task remains to not only cooperate with brothers and sisters from other parts of the world, but also with the young people in our own homes – neighbours and colleagues, who have left the church disillusioned and frustrated. It’s about finding clarity on the basic meaning of the Lutheran tradition, which is according to him, the very best framework to proclaim and witness God’s gospel for sinners.

This morning there is a lovely article in the NYT: “The Great Unease: Access to everything and certainty about nothing. The Day of Judgment has given way to days of endless judgment” by Roger Cohen. Well, he underlines the ideas of Oswald Bayer and gives some relevant updates. I like his take on the “likes” in social media and the description of the waiting process at the airlines, but most of all I like his quotation at the end: “The Chinese say: “If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; a week, kill a pig; a month, get married; for life, be a gardener.” Cultivate your garden, the inner as the outer. Make it bloom. Have petals of every color and airline cards of none.”

Have a lovely day!

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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