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"All the world's a stage"

Rector's Blog

"All the world's a stage"

"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's/As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogues the seven stages of a man's life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man: It is one of Shakespeare's most frequently quoted passages. Is the whole world a stage? Modern sociologists tell us we are all most of the time acting to impress others and veil who we really are from others.

In ancient Greece people wore masks on stage so you could see who they were supposed to play. The masked people were called hypocrites.Wearing masks is fine on stage but in real life it can be diabolical as demonstrated by the Australia post sub contractors in Melbourne who have been recently found out as criminals and not educationalists. The Bible says that in the end we don’t fool anybody except our selves. Everything we do is seen by the all seeing 'omniscient' eye of God. We might fool others but we don't fool Him.It’s noteworthy that the earliest recorded sin in the early church is an issue of people who were trying to fool the church about how generous they were (Acts 5). Wherever wealth, greed & materialism is involved, sin is not far away.

In the early church private ownership was recognized but no-one pressed their rights. The Holy Spirit helped them value people over possessions. They shared what they had as they saw need. Acts 4:32-37 is an outstanding picture from another world. From heaven. But in Acts 5 we read of a husband and wife called Ananias and Sapphira who sold property and acting together gave part of the proceeds while keeping some back for themselves. Keeping some for themselves was fine. It was their money. But what they did was give the portion as if it were the full amount. They wanted to gain the same reputation for generosity as others had while discretely keeping some of the cash for themselves. This couple believed the lie that they could buy themselves a reputation. What they did came from the pride of their own hearts not the Holy spirit. This was a deception, a wearing of masks, hypocrisy. The couple died when their deception was revealed. It seems harsh but it is a reminder that the most God ever hates sin is when he finds it in his own people. The church has to be an environment where the lie cannot live. It is to be an authentic spirit filled community, not a satanic fake. This narrative gives us a terrible picture of the awesome judgment of our Holy God- in this case upon fakers. It is a call to repent of every vestige of hypocrisy and live in spirit inspired open integrity before God and before one another. This is in part what the Apostle Paul longs for when speaking of heaven he says“then we shall know fully as we shall be fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We all long to be ourselves and to be accepted. Lets strive for this here on this earth that a little bit of heaven may indeed come forth.