Daily Riches: Inconspicuous Piety and the Santification of Trifles (Abraham Heschel, Teresa of Avila, William Wordsworth, and Aldous Huxley)

“The path of spirituality is a knife-edge between abysses.” Aldous Huxley

“We are ready to applaud dramatic struggles once a year in Washington. For the sake of lofty principles we will spend a day or two in jail somewhere in Alabama. But that prosaic demand for housing without vermin, for adequate schools, for adequate employment – right here in the vicinity of Park Avenue in New York City – sound so trite, so drab, so banal, so devoid of magnificence. …The [Hebrew] prophets field of concern is not the mysteries of heaven, the glories of eternity, but the blights of society, the affairs of the market place. …The predominant feature of the biblical pattern of life is unassuming, unheroic, inconspicuous piety, the sanctification of trifles….” Abraham Heschel

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” William Wordsworth

“Let there be no disappointment when obedience keeps you busy in outward tasks. If it sends you to the kitchen, remember that the Lord walks among the pots an pans.” Teresa of Avila

“Among my people are wicked men
who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind.
They continually set traps to catch people.
Like a cage filled with birds,
their homes are filled with evil plots.
And now they are great and rich.
They are fat and sleek,
and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.
They refuse to provide justice to orphans
and deny the rights of the poor.”
Jeremiah 5:23-28

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When is the last time you carefully read the Prophets? Have you drunk deeply enough there to be aware of their “field of concern?”
  • Are you committed to heroic, “dramatic struggles” on behalf of the poor or others? Does that keep you from “remembering the Lord among the pots and pans?”
  • Are you engaged in spiritual practices? Is your aim something like “inconspicuous piety?” Does that keep you from activity to address “the blights of society?”
  • What, in really concrete terms, would it mean for you to practice the “sanctification of trifles?”

Abba, balance me on the path which is a knife-edge between abysses.

For More:  The Insecurity of Freedom by Abraham Heschel

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: God’s Rule: Now, Here, This (John Macmurray, David Bosch, Dallas Willard)

“Like its Lord, the church-in-mission must take sides, for life and against death, for justice and against oppression.” David Bosch

“Instead of thinking about religious things we should think about ordinary things in a religious way. Instead of living a spiritual life which is separate from and in opposition to our material life we should live our ordinary life spiritually. Instead of believing in the idea of God we should seek and find God in this world – a God who does not depend on us and our believings or disbelievings, but on whom we depend. Our religion would cease to be for our comfort or consolation, a compensation for the futilities and failure of our material life, and become power and knowledge for the salvation of the world through us, and even at our expense.” John Macmurray

“We are responsible before God for life on the earth [Gen. 1:28-30]. …We are meant to exercise our ‘rule’ only in union with God, as he acts with us. He intended to be our constant companion or coworker in the creative enterprise of life on earth. …God… pursues us redemptively and invites us individually, every last one of us, to be faithful to him in the little we truly ‘have say over.’ There, at every moment, we live in the interface between our lives and God’s kingdom among us. If we are faithful to him here we … discover the effectiveness of his rule with us precisely in the details of day to day existence.” Dallas Willard

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.”
Proverbs 31:8
 .
Moving From the Head to the Heart
  • What would it mean to “live your ordinary life spiritually?”
  • Do you think of yourself as God’s “companion or coworker in a creative enterprise … on earth?” What would that mean in your “day to day existence?”
  • Have you settled for a religion of “comfort or consolation?” Imagine instead, God making you “power and knowledge for the salvation of the world.” Are you available to God for that?

Abba, may I use whatever influence, gifts and abilities I have for the advance of your kingdom rule in this troubled world. Thank you for vote of confidence, for your willingness to use me to bring about change, whether “big” or “small.”

For More: Idealism Against Religion by John Macmurray

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”