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The Man Who Invented Fire

Over the years, on our quest for truth and an authentic faith, we have deconstructed many of the beliefs of conventional Christianity. This has led to many questions, concerns and considerations that we endeavour to acknowledge honestly. Against this backdrop, Kev shares a story about the art of making fire, and how this may link to our experience to date and to our joy.

We also honour our faithful friend John Band, who we shall dearly miss.

Jenny sets the scene for the morning, recapping some significant thoughts from Rob's message on suffering last week. If you missed Rob's talk you can watch it here:

Kev asks some questions inspired by our recent talks and references the powerful story about the man who invented fire.

All of Kev's slides from this morning can be seen here:

This is the story Kev told of the man who invented fire, taken from the book The Prayer of The Frog by Anthony De Mello: "After many years of labour an inventor discovered the art of making fire. He took his tools to the snow-clad northern regions and initiated a tribe into the art — and the advantages — of making fire. The people became so absorbed in this novelty that it did not occur to them to thank the inventor who one day quietly slipped away. Being one of those rare human beings endowed with greatness, he had no desire to be remembered or revered; all he sought was the satisfaction of knowing that someone had benefited from his discovery.

The next tribe he went to was just as eager to learn as the first. But the local priests, jealous of the stranger’s hold on the people, had him assassinated. To allay any suspicion of the crime, they had a portrait of the Great Inventor enthroned upon the main altar of the temple; and a liturgy designed so that his name would be revered and his memory kept alive. The greatest care was taken that not a single rubric of the liturgy was altered or omitted. The tools for making fire were enshrined within a casket and were said to bring healing to all who laid their hands on them with faith.

The High Priest himself undertook the task of compiling a Life of the Inventor. This became the Holy book in which his loving kindness was offered as an example for all to emulate, his glorious deeds were eulogized, his superhuman nature made an article of faith. The priests saw to it that the Book was handed down to future generations, while they authoritatively interpreted the meaning of his words and the significance of his holy life and death. And they ruthlessly punished with death or excommunication anyone who deviated from their doctrine. Caught up as they were in these religious tasks, the people completely forgot the art of making fire."

Jenny asks how we reconcile the challenges that Kev has brought.

Mick pays tribute to John Band, a long-standing member of our community, who recently passed away.

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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