Sadhu Sundar Singh: “At the Master’s Feet” Part 3 (Chapter 1, section 2)

Sadhu Sundar Singh

For this week’s lesson, we offer section 2 of Chapter 1:

As you listen, here are questions to consider:

1)  In this portion of the vision, the Master explains that there are various ways by which God has manifested himself to humanity.  These include the Incarnation, love of God, love of neighbor, Holy Scripture, and the book of nature.  Each of these has a benefit and each can have a draw back.  What benefits and drawbacks do you find for each of these from the Sadhu’s recitation and from your own experience?

2)  For those of us in community (whether monastic or a neighborhood), Sundar offers a poignant insight into love of neighbor: “This also I have said, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Now although in a sense all men are neighbors one of another, yet the reference is especially to those who habitually live near each other, for it is an easy matter to live at peace with one who is near at hand for a few days only, even though he be unfriendly; but in the case of one who has his dwelling near you, and day by day is the cause of trouble to you, it is most difficult to bear with him, and love him as yourself.  But when you have conquered in this great struggle it will be more easy to love all others as yourself.”

Who in your life, either now or in the past, would fall in to this category?  What are practical ways to love such a person as God commands?  For whom in someone else’s life do you fall into this category?

3)  Bonus question for those with more theological training:  When Sundar uses the analogy of the Sun, heat, and light to try to explain the relationship of the Trinity, he verges on the ancient heresy of modalism.  Do you think that he does?  How would you respond to him?  What analogy would you use to help illustrate the relationship of the Trinity?

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Sadhu Sundar Singh: “At the Master’s Feet” Part 2 (Chapter 1, section 1)

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Continuing our readings from Sundar Singh’s first book “At the Master’s Feet,” we now move into the first chapter of this work.

Here is the audio for Chapter 1, section 1:

As you listen, here are some questions to consider:

1) In this vision, the Master makes the distinction between those that know about him and those that truly know him and can see him.  “There are many believers who are aware of My presence in their hearts bringing to them spiritual life and peace, but cannot plainly see Me.”  Where in your life have you felt Christ’s presence, leading and directing you, but still leaving you just short of full revelation?

2) Sundar Singh offered this analogy from the Master: “Sometimes during sickness the faculty of taste in the tongue is interfered with, and during tht time, however tasty food given to the sick person may be, it has an ill taste to him.”  This, he says, is like unto sin in our lives.  Looking around at the world today, what teachings of Christ seem repellent or out of place, especially where society or your own way of life sees the opposite as entirely acceptable?

3) As a follow up to this, how can we really live into the message of Christ that seems so counter-cultural to the rest of society?

4) There are two baptismal theologies that run through the history of the Church:  one of washing, the other of regeneration.  The first is typical of the Reformed and Evangelical traditions, while the second is more often found in the older catholic and orthodox traditions.  In this vision, Sundar Singh leaves us with one final analogy from the Master: “Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its blackness will not disappear, but let fire enter into it and its dark colour vanishes.  So also when the sinner received the Holy Spirit (who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one), which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away, and he is made a light to the world.”  How does our relationship to sin and God differ as we consider each of these two different baptismal theologies?

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Sadhu Sundar Singh: “At the Master’s Feet” Part 1

Sadhu Sundar Singh

God’s Peace and blessings to you all!  Our next lesson series will be drawing from the mystical visions of the Indian Anglican mystic Sadhu Sundar Singh.  His first published work from 1922 was titled “At the Master’s Feet.”  It covers a series of questions and answers between the disciple (Sundar) and the Master (Christ), covering matters of sin, heaven and hell, and the nature of the soul and existence.

We invite you to listen each week to these portions of the Sadhu’s earliest work and then discuss, either here or with friends in your own worshiping community, the questions that follow.  And most of all, we hope you enjoy a voice from another part of our world wide communion.  God’s Peace.

Brief biography of Sadhu Sundar Singh

Title and Preface

Introduction

Questions to consider:

1) How do you expect God to show up in your life?  Where have you perhaps missed God because of your previous expectations?

2) Like so many stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Sundar is not taken in by the devil, despite his eloquence and praise.  Where in your life have you followed the desire and pleasure of praise and notoriety at the cost of God’s true call?

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Parable of the Reflection

God’s Peace to you all!  This week, we offer the Parable of the Reflection.  In this lesson we explore the issues of pride, practice, and teaching in community.  As you listen, here are some questions to consider:

Where do you see weak spiritual practice in your community?

Where are there areas of weak spiritual practice in your own life?

How can you work on these areas in your own life to provide a living example to encourage (not dictate) to others?

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Parable of Balance

God’s Peace to you all!  This week, we offer the Parable of Balance.  In this lesson we explore the tension that exists between our desire for the world and our desire for God.  As you listen, here are some questions to consider:

What attractions in the world feel like they are distracting you from God?

How can you balance the tensions between these specific attractions and your longing for God?

What grace can come from honoring this tension instead of avoiding it?

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Parable of the Mirrors

God’s Peace to you all!  This week, we offer the Parable of the Mirrors.  In this lesson we explore the human tendency towards judgment of others.  As you listen, here are some questions to consider:

What people in your life, whether work, home, or parish, consistently bother and annoy you?

In what ways might you be doing the same thing to others?

Are the behaviors of others that annoy you perhaps qualities that you wish you were more comfortable with in yourself?

How can God best show you where and how you need to grow?

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Parable of the Platter and Orb

 

God’s Peace to you all!  This week, we offer the Parable of the Platter.  In this lesson we explore the need for spiritual practice and consistency in that practice.  As you listen, here are some questions to consider:

What in your life might be getting in the way of seeing God?

What parts of your life (past events, current habits, etc.), do you need to grieve and let go of in order to see God in who you are?

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