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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christ is born. Glorify Him!

An old story is told about a drunk who fell into a pit. The sides of the pit were so steep and he was so inebriated that he could not get out. He cried in alarm to anyone who would hear him.

A Jew walked by, stopped, took out the Psalms and quoted:-

“I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength” (Ps 88:4)

“My son,” he said, observe God’s Law and you will not stumble.” With that he walked on by.

A Muslim walked to the edge of the pit, peered over and declaimed: “You are a drunk, an unbeliever. First submit both Allah and to his laws, then you will know Paradise.” In disgust, he also walked away hurriedly.

A Hindu approached, a sage. “Your karma is now set by this deed. There is nothing you can do. Accept death and on your next rebirth perhaps your soul will make more progress.” The sage calmly walked away.

A Buddhist monk approached and with compassion he looked down on the man and tried to teach him to meditate. “Try to extinguish your desires … for earthly freedom, even for life itself. With desire comes suffering. With the right mental attitude you too can attain nibbana.” The monk retreated from the pit with a beatific smile on his face.

The drunk man grumbled noisily to himself in the pangs of his pain that all men were the same. With much difficulty he slumped and forward and fell into a fitful sleep.

Suddenly he was rudely awoken by a rough fellow gently shaking him. This man had let himself down into the pit with a rope.

The descent was so difficult beset with sharp stones, briars and obstacles that his hands and body were bleeding.

He took a spare rope, tied it round the drunken man’s waist who fell silent in disbelief. The drunk felt himself dragged to the side of the pit whereupon his rescuer strapped them both together and raised them up on a pulley fixed into the edge of the top of the pit for that purpose.

As they both stood out of the pit into the sunshine, unshackled, the drunken man, who was now a little more sober, looked round. The stranger had gone but there was a rather odd charge that lingered on in the air. He did not feel alone.

He looked back into the pit and thought thankfully about the great sacrifice this Man had made to save him.


Anonymous said...

Christ is Born!

A blessed Christmas to you and your family, and your parish community, Father.

Steve Hayes said...

A cool story!

Olympiada said...

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Thanks for this post, Father Gregory, its the best post I read today, very hopeful and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

that is such a caricature of those other religions...

Father Gregory said...

It makes the point though Sophia that only Christianity has a lived experience of grace ... of God's personal initiative to come himself in person and save us. ALL the others to a greater or lesser extent expect humanity to be able to get itself out of its own mess .... insofar as the "mess" is at all accepted.

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