Monday, August 03, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Prayer 3


Abba Paul said, "Keep close to Jesus."

Some thoughts:

On the one hand, why could be more simpler? On the other, what could be more difficult? How many concerns, worries, things do we allow to distract us from Jesus?

I am reminded of a discussion in which I participated at Princeton Theological Seminary early 70s. It was offered by the folk who brought us the Sojourners but before it was called Sojourners. The discussion was lead by Art Gish ( ) and it was on the concept of simplicity. He said, to paraphrase badly, that when we desire Jesus, we want nothing else. That we would not want things etc.

Well, this caused quite a lot of controversy. For the first time, I saw people leaping to the defense of their possessions, justifying their spending habits. I had been taught by my parents that the only thing that prevented us from having every thing we wanted was money and here Art Gish said we could choose to do without, to choose Jesus over everything else.

Gentle readers could wish that I could think of less materialistic ways to discuss this Saying. So do I, actually. But I suppose it reveals my own personal area of struggle. Perhaps you have your own.


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