Vicar’s Reflection: 12h July 2015, Ordinary Sunday 15
The saying “Man* proposes but God disposes” is from a widely read work ‘Of the Imitation of Christ’ by a German cleric Thomas a Kempis who died 25 07 1471. His book has many wise spiritual insights and influenced me as a young Christian. Thomas drew from similar insights in the Bible: ‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps..’ from Proverbs 16:9; and again:- "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21. The Gospel for today has the story of the execution of John the Baptist, brought about almost randomly through a rash promise made by King Herod to a dancing girl. 2 Samuel 6 records the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and David’s frenzied dancing which leads to his wife regarding him with contempt. Left out is a section (v6-12) which records the unfortunate death of Uzzah, who reached out to steady the ark of God when the oxen stumbled, causing his death. Although attributed to God, we would see his death as a random accident, for such things happen. We live in a world created by a loving God who has a vast yet personal plan according to Ephesians 1:4, yet random and tragic events also happen. This is one of the mysteries of faith, and a call to trust in God’s ultimate purpose. Alex Czerwonka
*Please note that the common use of the term ‘Man’ in older texts was intended to refer to men and women.