The danger of seeing

16 Mar

Young children generally see everything as new, interesting, exciting and a challenge. But gradually as they grow up, become socialised and schooled and then they can loose this vision of everything as a wonder. I sometimes think that this process can happen in religion. At first if exposed to religion with its beliefs and rituals it seems exciting, but soon the ever questioning child becomes difficult to give satisfactory explanations to and is expected just to accept things as they are and as they are taught.

Many as adults, if they are still religious can be stuck at this stage of not really understanding, not wondering why; and in fact not ever being given an acceptable explanation from ministers or teachers – folk who perhaps are just ‘faithful’ to the teachings of the church and see no real beauty and remarkable wonder of it all. Fortunately some believers do see the beauty and the mystery of their religion, and then are like people who come to see – cured of any ‘blindness’ that they previously had.

People who can joyfully celebrate the ‘magic’ and mystery of their church’s teaching can become a nuisance to the ‘rigid’ leaders and ‘supposedly’ teachers of the doctrines of the church. If you have read a number of my jottings you might realise that I don’t always use traditional expressions of ‘doctrines’ but rather see their mystery and challenge. If I am or you are such a ‘childlike’ and active wonderer we might understand a deeper meaning in the story of the cured blind man who meets official opposition. At the end of the story in John’s gospel of a cure of a blind man, Jesus foresees this transformation but also the trouble it can cause, saying “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” John 9:39.

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