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5 - Some kinds of people sift dirt and Whoever seeks God will find

from Part II - Shenoute as Pastor and Preacher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2015

David Brakke
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Andrew Crislip
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

A discourse coming after the previous one (I see your eagerness), which he spoke before the same people and those who had joined them.

Christ is not far from us, if we make the effort to find him

Some kinds of people sift dirt in the rubbish-heaps and surrounding places in the ground until they find the smallest pieces of gold, silver, or bronze, or what's less valuable than these, including pieces of dung that are around there, until they find their sustenance. But in our case, our sustenance is clear to us: it's within us, close by us. We recognize it; it's in our presence. We are instructed to become rich in it – and most of us are poor.

Such (dirt-sifting) people make an effort: sometimes they find what they seek, and sometimes they don't. But for our part, we're not going to make any effort, hesitating because maybe we won't find what we seek, Jesus, who is complete sustenance. He dwells with those who hope in him without hesitation, as the holy Apostle said, “Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you? – unless perhaps you are discredited!” You see that all wealth – that is, Christ – is hidden within us: he is just beyond our groping now after him, just beyond our uncovering of his face now. Indeed, he's not far away, which means that he is just beyond our taking on a little labor, just beyond our awakening him within us, just beyond our opening of our heart to him!

There is an implement that the people we have mentioned cast into the water, and it catches the gold and silver until those who look in the stirred waters find it. As for you, O man, you are sought after by the callings of the scriptures to repent: let the word of God catch you and hold you until those who seek you pull you up from the mud of sin, and the speaker in the place of instruction has joy, and the hearer benefits his soul and does not harm it.

If merely because of turning back Lot's wife was transformed and instead of a woman became a pillar of salt on account of hypocrisy, then you should not, because of human hypocrisy, let your soul be transformed, so that instead of prospering it becomes useless.

Type
Chapter
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Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt
, pp. 106 - 117
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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