Saturday, 3 September 2011

Stereo typing

When I was a curate every time we got to the bit of gospel which disparages tax collectors it was always music for my soul ...because my training incumbent was one! But I always thought it a strange bit of stereo typing.

The theory of synchronicity is alive and well this week...its been very odd how various themes have repeated themselves in different ways. During the week we saw a remarkable little film from the BBC called" The Boy in Striped Pyjamas." Today a friend on Twitter blogged an amazing story about orphans on their way to the death camp at Treblinka.
The tragedy that was the holocaust is the end result of a desperate bit of type casting of the Jews as greedy and not really human at all.

The readings from Matthew for this week included a sentence from Jesus which said if you have done everything to get people to see things from your point of view then treat them as if they were Gentiles or tax collectors! (I paraphrase)
I had already decided that I would preach on the dangers of stereo typing and these two stories appeared.
So I . have used them both in tomorrows sermon.
Here are two quotes, one from Maeterlinck
Let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness. It is the flower of a long inner life of joy and contentment. It tells us of peaceful hours and days on the sunniest heights of our soul.

And the next from Korczak.
What should we do when everyone acts less than human? We must act more than human.


  1. Jean, thanks for a timely reminder. Had a wonderful day today with friend, who married late and have had two children late in life (John was 56 when they married and Alice and Sophie followed within two years). We've been friends with John, who is a Psychiatrist, and who we thought would probably never settle for married life. In all of that time, despite knowing him very well, we had not known that he was a Christian - but thought that he was a man of science and an exceedingly good human being.

    We had stereo-typed him, fitted him into our convenient and complacent picture which we were comfortable with.

    But John once he met Joy seemed to come alive in a an totally unexpected way - we are delighted at how the changes have manifested in his life and with Joy and now two lovely children. We attended the baptism of both, which were joyful occasions. John has shared much of our journey towards ministry and has been a tower of strength in trying moments.

    God is one of surprises and transformation and for us to see it happen has been wonderful.

  2. Thats a lovely story Ernie....I think many of my friends had stereo typed me too and were equally surprised when I left it!