Lenten Desert: Myths Monsters Logosmoi So what did Peter’s Mother-in-Law say?

jewish mother

When Peter returned home and explained to his family
he was joining Jesus on a preaching tour:
What questions did Peter’s Mother-in-Law ask?

Thanks to those of you who have joined us on this Imagination Exercise. We think it would have been a pretty explosive conversation between Peter, his Mother-in-Law and his family. While taking part in this exercise two people came to mind who have faced and met the challenge of Christian Discipleship. The first person was the theologian Jürgen Moltmann who said this in his book: The Crucified God;

“Confrontation with the Cross is not positive and constructive, but is in the first instance critical and destructive. It does not bring people into a better harmony with themselves and their environment, but into a contradiction with themselves and their environment. It doe not create a home for us, but makes us homeless and rootless, and liberates us to follow Christ who is homeless and rootless.”

The second was the testimony I heard from young woman who felt called to leave her comfortable suburban life and join a religious order dedicated to finding Christ in the poor children of Brazil. She tells the story of having to tell her widowed Mum, that she, her only child, planned on leaving home to follow Christ in this way. Her Mum never accepted her choice to follow Jesus like this, and said she had been abandoned by her daughter. This pain and the guilt that accompanied it was almost too much for the your woman and she nearly cut short her vocation until the Lord gave her the freedom she needed to continue.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10 v 37

Tough words that we would not be honest if we did not react to them. So, yes, we think it was tough words from the Mother-in-Law.

So, these are the kinds of questions Peter we thought Peter would have faced …..we missed out some of the naughty words that we are sure surfaced on this occasion….you can imagine what they might have been!

Practical

Where are you going?
How long will you be away?
Who will run your business?
Who will provide for your family?
Are you coming back?

Emotional

Why are you going?
Who will look after your wife and children?
Will you lose the family business?
What have we done to deserve this?
Will you abandon your family?

Spiritual

Who is this Jesus?
Why are you going with him?
Is he a Sadducee or Pharisee?
Is he another Messiah?
What will happen to you?

The purpose of this exercise has been to introduce you in a non-rational way to what the early Desert Mothers and Fathers describe as Logosmoi.
Logosmoi are “Thoughts that terrorise us and drive us out of the new creation and a new humanity”
They can’t be overcome rationally. They can’t be overcome by personal piety.
Their goal is anti-creation anti-humamity.
Next time around we will go straight down to the Desert of the 4C and meet Geordie the Monk….he knows about Logosmoi.

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