Tidiness

Published 19th October 2008 by lucy moore

Today’s collect was a prayer for a sort of tidiness:
Almighty God, who alone can bring order to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity: give your people grace so to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, among the many changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found
Interesting that the writer of the collect links the concept of ‘order’ to grace, commands, promise, vision, true joys, while ‘unruliness’ is linked to wills, passions, sinfulness, the implication that the changing world is a bad thing and that other joys are not ‘true’ ones. The latter list is so much more energetic than the former with that inclusion of ‘passion’ and ‘change’ or dynamism.
Seen objectively, stability, order and structure are good, and fixed purpose, constancy and faithfulness are all very much needed in society and in the church, but I wish their juxtaposition against what sounds like so much more fun wasn’t so stark. I also rail against the idea that somehow we’re supposed to want to attain a status quo ‘fixed’ – that perfection is an unchanging resting place: sounds like death to me. All the images of kingdom are growing, changing, dynamic. In The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, heaven isn’t a stopping place but a ‘further and deeper’ place.

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