Dialogue 1

Christ tempted

 

1. Peace to you, Son of God.

2. And to you, peace, child of heaven.

1. For a long time I’ve been going to and fro upon the earth, but I remember where I belong.

2. I was half-expecting you. After all this time in the desert I was getting bored talking to the rock-badgers.

1. I think I can assure you that I won’t be boring.

2. So welcome, with whatever you bring me. It couldn’t be food could it? That bag on your shoulders? I could break my fast with no dishonour after thirty seven days. To be truthful I’m so hungry I could eat these stones.

1. If you really were the Son of God, surely you could change them into bread.

2. As it is…..

1. We both know you can’t…..

2. So your logic says….?

1. You’re not the Son of God.

2. The logic is good but it only works if your premise is true.

1. You mean …

2. Where is it written that a Son of God must be able to perform tricks with stones? Isn’t that such a trivial notion of closeness to God that you must have known I’d reject it.

1. I thought it probable.

2. So why use it?

1. I thought I should push you to define what on earth you mean by thinking of yourself as God’s child. If it’s not miracles, what is it? Is it worth troubling the world with it?

2. It’s being able to call God, Dad.

1. That may be interesting for you, but why should anyone else be bothered?

2. Can we move a little into the shade of this rock? You’d be right of course if it was merely a matter of personal privilege. But I call him that because I am able to do his will in the world: to speak his truth, to do his justice, to offer his love, to bear his suffering…

1. You alone?

2. No, not at all! If I can, so can anyone, that’s the whole point, that’s how God’s kingdom will come, when his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. That’s how the ruler of this world will be defeated.

1. Oh dear, yes. So there will be a message, there will be followers, there will be a belief that you are the Messiah and even if you fail, they’ll be ready to carry the message to the ends of the earth. Oh dear.

2. What’s this strange sorrow? You’re not known for your compassion.

1. My compassion is my opposition to the half-baked schemes of God, who’s always trying to catch up with the mess he’s made of creation, while congratulating himself on his wisdom. But a Son of God with similar arrogance is an additional burden for me to bear.

2. You have me wrong, my friend. I’ll claim no privilege, demand no power, claim no titles, start no wars, but only convince some men and women that they too are God’s children.

1. Son of God, have you any idea how their message will conquer the world, how much power it will give to those who use it, how much suffering it will bring to those who are abused by it, how much evil will be done in your name?

2. I do not.

1. Then I must educate you. We have a journey to make, together, but you’ll find me good company.

(more to follow)

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