Friday, 17 November 2017
A WEEK is a long time in politics, as they say. This last week has certainly had its moments.
The new President of the United States of America began his presidency with an inaugural speech which, coming from the leader of the Free World seemed to distance both himself and his nation from that Free World.
Chatting to a couple of American tourists, who live in Washington DC, last week, I made the comment that they were obviously trying to escape all the excitement of the inauguration.
Their response was that they were so embarrassed that the world was laughing at the US. My wife commented that we were not laughing because we were all much too scared to laugh!
Then the Supreme Court decides that MPs, not the Prime Minister, should dictate the manner in which our exit from the European Union is to be conducted.
It is a good time to remind ourselves that “we live in interesting times” is not simply a Chinese proverb, it’s a Chinese curse!
In such relatively unpredictable times, we might well be forgiven for looking to something much more stable and solid to rely upon than our various political systems.
But even then, people have very differing opinions — undoubtedly there are a great number of people who would not have shared our American tourists’ reaction to my comment about their new president. But this is nothing new.
In St John’s gospel, people’s reaction to Jesus is seen to be very different. There are those to whom John rather unkindly refers to as “the Jews” who see Jesus only as an irritation, or perhaps even a threat.
Then there are those who are impressed by the healing miracles of Jesus and follow him simply to see what he’ll do next.
Then there are those who, having seen the miracles and having heard what Jesus says, follow him because their faith tells them that he is nothing less than the Son of God, God-with-us, the Word made Flesh.
Most of us will go through times in our lives when we can ally ourselves with any or all of these groups. And that’s fine!
Fortunately, God doesn’t need our vote and he doesn’t need any of us to support the work of his kingdom.
But that doesn’t mean that any help we can give isn’t appreciated.
So no matter whether you are an unbeliever, a believer, or an agnostic, ironically God still has a place for you in his kingdom where healing, the work of reconciliation and the preaching of the gospel take place.
I don’t know about you, but I’m rather glad that God doesn’t have to rely totally on me for all of that, even if I am convinced that he has a job for me — and you — to do to further his work of love and life in the world.
30 January 2017
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