"The recorded words of Jesus and of Paul take very little room, and may be read in a couple of hours; but the writings to which they have given rise in the way of comment and controversy and discourse, if preserved from the beginning and collected together, no man could read in a lifetime. The greater part of these has perished and the rest will follow...while the little volume which has furnished the topic of so much discoursing is likely to endure, and be read and received as authority until some new convulsion of the globe shall sweep every vestige of existing civilization from the face of the earth. This is Humanities verdict on the relative value of these two classes of teachers,-the authorities and the scribes.
Authority is adequate testimony, the word of a competent witness. We call it revelation. And what is revelation? Let us free our minds from a certain confusion which seems to mystify this term. Revelation is not a voice from without, but a voice within; not a prodigious communication out of the skies, a doctrine appended to the tail of some portent, but the intuition of a rapt soul that has met the Spirit of God in its meditation...
The truth thus obtained is not necessarily new, in the sense that the like had never been said before, but it is new in the sense of having been new-born in the thought of him who declares it. That makes it as fresh as the morning, the ever new surprise of a new day.
Such teachers we call "seers," signifying thereby that they see what they teach. Of such seeing the first and most essential condition is unconditional surrender to the truth. "
Beautifully done, BU.
The wonderful Rev. Susan Smith, district executive of the Southwest UU Conference, once explained the importance of liturgy in a leadership training.
She said the traditional Christian liturgical calendar presents the same scripture and stories over and over again. They don't change. We do. We come to the stories and wisdom given from the pulpit a different person. Perhaps not every year, but often enough that the hearing of these stories enriches our spirits.
Rev. Smith urged lay leaders to think about the depth of our sacred stories and tell them simply. She also asked us to "stop living in the de-mythologized stage of development."
Thank you so much for writing and for the wonderful words from Rev. Smith. Many blessings, BU
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