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Thought for the Day – Staying Sane in a Mad World #5

‘At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and He said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.’
Luke 10 vs. 21.

You may have seen the TV series ‘War and Peace’ which was based on a very long book by the Russian Leo Tolstoy.

I haven’t read that but I have read another short book that he wrote called ‘Confession’ about his search for truth. The book describes how Tolstoy became disillusioned with the intellectual atheism all around him which was so arrogant and when he saw the uncomplicated, intuitive faith of the peasant people living simple but ‘real lives’, he realised that the intellectual life he was leading was quite hollow. He says “I was speaking exactly like a person who is in a boat being carried along by wind and waves and who, when asked the most important and vital question, ‘Where should I steer?’ avoids answering by saying ‘We are being carried along somewhere’.” He realised the peasants, ordinary folk, who knew little of his intellectual life, knew more than him about ‘real life’ and engaged with God in a different and more genuine way.

Does that sound at all familiar? It should because we live in a crazy world where we are in awe of clever people like Prof. Brian Cox who have absolutely no answers to the big questions in life.

Only the other day I saw him explain why the earth is spinning. Here is his theory: What happened was that a planet hit the Earth in a glancing blow a bit like Leo Messi free kicks spinning the ball around the wall. That explains the spin but at the same time the bits knocked off by this glancing blow also formed the moon. Does this seem likely?

We live in a world in which the clever people tell us things that don’t make a lot of sense and they have no answers to the basic and big questions of life that Tolstoy asked.

The gospel is for people who come to Christ with child-like humility. It doesn’t mean that we are stupid or foolish – maybe there are a few really clever people in Christ Church, I am definitely not one of the them. But the gospel comes to me and you because God has chosen to reveal himself to us. 

Father I pray that the people listening to this we won’t be taken in by the foolishness of modern thinking. May they, in a childlike way, continue to trust you as their great Creator and Saviour and King.

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