Vitruvian Man

“Almighty and eternal God, you have kindled the flame of love
in the hearts of the saints: grant to us the same faith and power of love…” (today’s Collect)
“One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ (Mark 12.28)

THE SCHOLAR approaches Jesus in this morning’s Gospel reading with a testing question about the Torrah. It is a test of orthodoxy perhaps and is legalistic with moralistic undertones. Religion to this day is often seen in such a way, like a scaffold of ‘correct’ beliefs and rules designed to help ‘believers’ join the dots to salvation and so be worthy to enter some variously prescribed version of after-life eternal bliss. For Christians, largely because of words often found in the gospels on the lips of Jesus, this is often thought about in terms of kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven or just heaven. Due to political dominance through the ages of empire versions of Christianity, earthly kingdom type imagery has often been efficacious, leaving many generations spiritually groaning under the weight of impossible morality. Of course, this is not surprising; people whose default setting is an inherent sense of failure to live up to pre-programmed ideals, are susceptible to authoritarian control.
But Jesus says the scholar is not far from the kingdom of God. This law-scribe has shown Jesus that actually he can perceive the love of God beneath his own religious and social programming. For Jesus, this kingdom has nothing to do with earthly kings or political leaders. Malkuthach, central to Jesus’ message and normally translated “kingdom,” is really about what guides us in our souls; it is that which empowers us to go forward in the face of all difficulties, a creative potential aching to be realised. Malkuthach is linked in Aramaic to shamayin – heavens – less a place than a movement of being, like “light and sound shining through all creation” (Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz).
Jesus was never a teacher of morality but rather he opened the consciousness of whoever had ears to listen, so that they might see God within themselves, timeless, eternal, and so be able to enter in this life the kingdom state, consciousness or guiding principle of God. In doing this a person becomes ripe to inherit oneness, completeness in the ‘world to come’.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on November 5, 2018.


  1. Well that’s a relief. I’d never get in if it was all just for Goody goodies!

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