21st December

A Thieves’ Lesson At The Summer Solstice

The Lord almighty says that he will send this curse out, and it will enter the house of every thief and the house of everyone who tells lies under oath. It will remain in their houses and leave them in ruins. Zechariah 5: 4

How often, after we have we been robbed, have we prayed that God will convict or deal with the thief, but our prayers have seemed powerless? An experience of Samson’s may fortify us.

A thief stole a beautiful jeweled crosier from the monastery where Samson was based. Within an hour the thief was so overwhelmed with the enormity of what he had done that he fell prostrate to the ground as if half dead. Nevertheless, he hardened his heart, and continued his life of crime, carrying round his waist a cloth in which he kept the jewels he had extracted from the crosier. On the night of the winter solstice he was crossing an iced-over pond, when the ice cracked under him and he drowned.

The following day a brother from the monastery was going for a stroll. He saw the cloth with its contents lying on the ice, and the stiffened corpse standing rigid in the middle of the ice. The lessons the brothers drew from this incident were that it is not possible to hide anything from God, either good or evil, and that God can work things out for his friends even in traumatic, depressing situations.

Christ at the yearly turning
Christ at every bend.
Christ at each beginning
Christ at every end
Christ in every break-in
Christ in shades of death
Christ in icy waters
Christ in wintry earth

Lord, when anyone does something to damage or diminish me,
Help me to place them into your hands
To trust you to deal with them
And to guide me in my responses