"I have heard that tale," said the Lady, "and it is not as you say. I will not deny that your Lord paid the teind, nor that it would be good to have had some part in it, for He was a strong man, born of a race of kings, and His teind must have been a very great one. But that was long ago, long ago in His own time and place. Its strength is spent now. The power has gone out of it."
"It has never gone out of it," Kate answered, her voice beginning to shake as she searched for the right words, because everything might hang on them. "All power comes from life, as you said yourself, but the life that was in Him came from the God who is above all gods; and that is a life that knows nothing of places and times." She paused, and the Lady said almost sharply: "What more?" She was leaning a little forward, her head bent as if she were trying to hear some unfamiliar sound in the distance.
"I -- I mean," Kate stumbled on, "that with us there is time past and time present, and time future, and with your gods perhaps there is time forever; but God in Himself has the whole of it, all times at once. It would be true to say that He came into our world and died there, in a time and place; but it would also be true to say that in His eternity it is always That Place and That Time -- here -- and at this moment -- and the power He had then, He can give to us now, as much as He did to those who saw and touched Him when He was alive on the earth."
(The Perilous Gard, by Elizabeth Pope)
Mom was talking to me about the Lenten soup-and-study meetings she'd been going to. (She said *18* people had been coming. A year ago I wouldn't have sworn there *were* 18 active members at our church. Maybe it will manage to last it out after all.) I said I'd never really wanted to go to any of those because I'd feel like I couldn't discuss things properly there. She said yes I could, they'd spent most of the sessions arguing predestination with Pastor. I said no, not that I couldn't *argue* theology, but that I couldn't argue *properly*, because I'd keep wanting to reference kids' fantasy novels and Star Trek books and quantum theory instead of more respectable things.
Holy Week always finds me looking up the conversation from The Perilous Gard that I quoted above. Because the power *will* never go out of it; no matter what you believe about the church and the faith, the story of the Passion and the Resurrection is an incredibly powerful story...
I didn't get enough palms at service today to make another basket. Miss Jerry and Miss Luray stole all the extras for their grandkids who didn't even come to church. Bah, I say. Bah! But we did coffee hour with Marsha, and she brought leftover chocolate fondue, so I ate lots and lots (and lots) of yummy.
Mom's telling me to go do my taxes. Now I'm tempted to spend the evening writing that biblefic I'd been planning where Matthew and Judas spend all of Holy Week bickering about whose turn it was to balance the checkbook. q: