The ancient tool of storytelling

Reflections

“…that we are temporary creatures operating in an eternal framework means that we should be re-evaluating our goals to strive for love, which is marked with eternity, to be revealed in our actions,” reflects The Rev’d Andrew Schmidt

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When I was a kid my friend, Robbie, and I built a cubby and we left it alone for a while until it became infested with spiders. We decided to get rid of the spiders by burning polystyrene. We managed to trap ourselves inside the cubby and got polystyrene smoke in our lungs. Robbie’s mother was scared for and angry with us. She made us walk up and down the driveway, taking deep breaths in order to clear our lungs. The reason I’m telling this story is that storytelling is an ancient tool for preventing others from making our mistakes.

The church has a similar tool to prevent others from making the same mistakes twice, but it works on a much larger scale and requires annual repetition.

This coming Sunday is the last Sunday in the liturgical year, that is the traditional cycle that the church keeps, and is also known as ‘Christ the King’. This is one of the more recent annual celebrations in the church. It really got started shortly after the First World War, when people recognised that although hostilities had ceased, there was still much despair and violence in the hearts of humanity.

The idea was to create an annual reminder, at the very end of the year, that in the end it is God who is in charge, and for true peace to reign we must live into the kingship of ‘the Prince of Peace’. War is so often about the desire for power, wealth or influence, which are desires that continue to operate in modern society. All too often these are the desires that bring about pain and suffering. The fact, however, that we are temporary creatures operating in an eternal framework means that we should be re-evaluating our goals to strive for love, which is marked with eternity, to be revealed in our actions.

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