Sunday’ Sermon

Sydney, St Andrew's Cathedral, Hardman and Co....

Sydney, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Hardman and Co. The Gospel writers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew early on that our first son would be a successful academic. When I was a student at SB Junior College I had a desk for studying at home. Little Steve wanted to study also. So I made a desk extension for him next to mine. We would study together. His book might be upside down but he concentrated on its text and he took “notes”.

Once in Santa Barbara when I was the janitor (and a university student) at the Unitarian Church Steve, who was about 4.5 years old, and I stopped by the office of the secretary. She asked him what he was reading.

“I’m reading about a boy who can fly,” said Steve.

“Oh, how exciting! You must be reading Peter Pan.”

“No, I am reading about Daedalus and his son Icarus, who flies too close to the sun!”

The secretary was astounded. And a bit embarrassed.

When Steve was about four he taught me an important lesson about reading and interpreting texts. He went to play school one day and immediately went over to an easel and stood there holding a brush ready to start painting. The teacher came up behind him and said, “What are you going to paint?”

“God,” he said.

“And do you know what God looks like?”

“I will when I finish the painting,” he said as he began to paint.

Isn’t that an amazing insight? Why do I find it important?

We do indeed give form and meaning to concepts and ideas in works of the imagination that we create including paintings and stories. We are the meaning seekers. We are the creators of meaning. The bible, for example, means by means of its stories. Think for a moment of the Christian hero, Jesus. There is a sense in which Jesus is a model for human beings to follow. He was a man of his time who held the assumptions and beliefs of his era. He is portrayed as a charismatic man who lived with intense purpose and drive, who had an existential thrust to his life, who cared deeply about human beings, and who wrestled with profound questions of ethics. The stories that grew up around him have affected the world for two thousand years and have touched the deepest parts of our humanity with their simplicity of image and their promise of “salvation”. [RTB]

I think of the Gospel writers as being like my young son.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; Do you know Jesus? “I will when I finish my story.”

So, as you can see, I have learned a lot from Steve. And it was clear from those first days that the time would come when he would be Dr. Steven Lane and a successful professor and administrator. But, thirty years of service at VIU??

Time flies.

{Steve is now an administrator at Red Deer College in Alberta}

2 thoughts on “Sunday’ Sermon

  1. Love the story, Bob.

    We give meaning to works of the imagination, you say. We can make them true, known to us. Imagination… what a great tool to change life, to fly, to move.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I will when I finish the painting” – damn that is profound!! And you are correct when applying it to the gospel writers. I think they all wrote well after Jesus was walking on the earth.


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