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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Merrily, merrily

The claim that life is but a dream is rightly attributed to Shakespeare. In his play ‘The Tempest’, the words run as follows: ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’ However what’s often omitted is that these words proceed from the mouth of a magician. Prospero is the puppet-master of the play, pulling strings, conjuring powerful illusions, and catching everyone up in his smoke and mirrors. His claim about life therefore is to be called into question.

I’ve never myself reached the edges of an existential crisis where I’ve wondered whether life is but a dream. Certainly the angst that life seems to be meaningless, yes, but not the extreme that life has no meaning. The apostle Paul mentions some in Corinth who were merrily eating and drinking and rowing gently down the steam, and holding to the opinion that life is rounded with an inconsequential sleep. But that was not what Paul believed.

For he had encountered a Man who seemed to be ‘life’ itself. A bit like smelling a garden rose as distinct from merely putting your nose to one in a book. Or like hearing a lovely melody as distinct from merely reciting the word ‘violin’. More than that, Paul felt this life begin inside him, and he saw it take root in others too as he preached the gospel. Have you ever felt it? Said old John Newton: “Solid joys and lasting pleasures, none but Zion’s children know.” And there’s the clue.

DM 27th April 2020

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