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Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2017

Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2017

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Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2017

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5/5 (1 valutazione)
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176 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Dec 1, 2016
ISBN:
9781472929785
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

In his first full-length book Justin Welby looks at the subject of money and materialism. Designed for study in the weeks of Lent leading up to Easter, Dethroning Mammon reflects on the impact of our own attitudes, and of the pressures that surround us, on how we handle the power of money, called Mammon in this book. Who will be on the throne of our lives? Who will direct our actions and attitudes? Is it Jesus Christ, who brings truth, hope and freedom? Or is it Mammon, so attractive, so clear, but leading us into paths that tangle, trip and deceive?

Archbishop Justin explores the tensions that arise in a society dominated by Mammon's modern aliases, economics and finance, and by the pressures of our culture to conform to Mammon's expectations. Following the Gospels towards Easter, this book asks the reader what it means to dethrone Mammon in the values and priorities of our civilisation and in our own existence. In Dethroning Mammon, Archbishop Justin challenges us to use Lent as a time of learning to trust in the abundance and grace of God.
Pubblicato:
Dec 1, 2016
ISBN:
9781472929785
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

The Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Dethroning Mammon - Justin Welby

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What we see we value

Key text John 11

The Death of Lazarus

No experience of suffering or sorrow is able to overcome the capacity of God to bring life. The generosity of God overflows with such power that even death is swept away. But the power of death to deceive, to cause us to see wrongly the nature and purpose of our existence in this world, is something we all experience at some point. When we are at the funeral of a loved friend or relative, we hear death saying to us, ‘I am the final answer. All ends in this complete nothingness and emptiness. Do not deceive yourselves.’

What we see we value. In our society, we value wealth that is visible, and life that is confident. Those being interviewed for jobs lose marks for being quiet, and not putting what they have on show. The flashy and confident are likely to be promoted, despite the fact that they often prove disappointing. We listen more carefully to, and are often taken in by, someone who is ‘successful’, with evident wealth. We airbrush out those in sickness, despair, depression and want. Such conditions speak more of absence and death – on which we prefer not to dwell – than prosperity and growth, and so we tend to value them less.

Christians should see more clearly, because we have seen Jesus. We are people whose vision has been challenged and corrected, so that we can see the world as it properly is. But seeing badly is still a big problem for most of us most of the time; when we see God and the world wrongly, the problem becomes an issue of great menace.

Jesus spent much of his ministry sorting out the mis-seeing of others. The resurrection was the biggest sight-correction of all, but before that there were several moments of immense force and drama in which Jesus challenged the way we see things.

The raising of Lazarus was one such moment. In John’s account of the story of the Passion, the raising of Lazarus comes just days before what we now call Holy Week, the week leading up to Jesus’ own dying and rising. This is a time of huge tension, with Jesus moving resolutely towards Jerusalem, and finding himself in furious confrontations with the rulers. Behind the scenes, they are planning to kill him, and are seeking to find a disciple who can be persuaded to betray him.


JOHN 11:1-16

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. ²Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. ³So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. ¹⁰But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ ¹¹After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ ¹² The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ ¹³Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. ¹⁴Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. ¹⁵For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ ¹⁶Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’


The raising of Lazarus was an event that divided its witnesses into separate camps according to what they thought they saw. In the story, we see different groups of people reacting in different ways to the same reality, and they do so because they viewed the same event through different eyes.

The Pharisees and the chief priests reacted to Jesus’ miracle by deciding to have him put to death. The raising of Lazarus was the last straw. Though they, just like Mary and Martha, had just witnessed someone who was dead come back to life, they did not value the life of Lazarus, and so they did not truly see it. Instead, the authorities valued the political and economic stability of the Temple. What they really saw in the raising of Lazarus was a threat to the status quo, in the form of a revolutionary named Jesus. Even if their eyes witnessed a miracle, what they perceived was a threat.

Mary and Martha, at the beginning of this episode at least, see only through eyes of grief. What we see we value. They act according to the world they see, and what they see is death. The only certainty of this circumstance in their mind is that their brother is dead, and so they object to Jesus’ talk of resurrection. They do not know that Jesus embodies a certainty even greater than death. Jesus challenges them to see with the eyes of faith that life in him is stronger than death.

What don’t you see?

Which people do you ignore?

To which places do you turn a blind eye?

What reality do you pretend not to notice?

Seeing correctly is one of the greatest spiritual disciplines. We see much of competing value. Many things stand before us and claim to represent ultimate value or power. That is especially true of bereavement. All those who are bereaved know the sense of the power of death that carries someone off to a place where we cannot go. And yet Jesus tells us, through Mary and Martha, that what those two sisters saw, and what we all see, is an illusion. The reality is life everlasting.

Jesus sees perfectly. Amid remarkable pressure, Jesus is constantly maintaining peace, focusing on what is near, and is not distracted by anything. His deliberate steps towards Lazarus are remarkable because they show that he understood, by seeing into the situation more deeply than those around him, what needed to happen.


JOHN 11:17-27

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. ¹⁸Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, ¹⁹and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. ²⁰When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. ²¹Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. ²²But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ ²³Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ ²⁴Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ ²⁵Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, ²⁶and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ²⁷She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the

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