Vicar's Blog ~ October 2019
When we commemorated the end of the First World War last November we looked back at the parish magazines from 100 years earlier to see what people were saying at the time - particularly what the vicar wrote in the magazine and other parish records. Since then I’ve been very aware that what one writes now is not just for today but for the future - and indeed - thanks to modern technology may be read far away. After I preached a sermon about Mary Magdalene and the moon landing (and about how some people still do not believe it ever happened) I received an email berating next for falling into the trap of believing that it did happen!).
And people may read this in 100 years’ time. That raises a very interesting question doesn’t it - about what will people think in 100 years’ time about what is going on around us now in this rather uncertain times which we find ourselves. The goings-on in the government and parliament; the difficulties in the Middle East; the escalating concerns about climate change - how will these things look in the future and what do we want to say to the future and what will the future think of us? The more immediate way of asking this question is to contemplate what message we are sending to our children about the way Parliament behaves; the rule of law and climate change. At the same time we might also consider what message children are sending to us when we see the climate change protest led by a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who people are only just beginning to hear of but may well be very famous a century from now, if there is a century from now. What messages are we sending to our children as they grow up at the moment and what messages are they sending to us loud and clear?
We are telling them that democracy is a plaything and they are telling us that we don’t care about the environment in which they will grow up and in which their children will be born. To some extent the politicians are behaving like children and our children are behaving as politicians should. When politicians throw the toy of democracy out of the pram it breaks. And it is the children who will have to pick up the pieces and put them back together again.
St Paul in the letter to the Galatians wrote: ‘...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.’
There is no law against these things. There are plenty of laws against other kinds of things, as the past few weeks makes very clear. There are corners of our world, our nation, our communities and in ourselves where these words need to heard and heeded. For if we are to have any hopeful say in the way the next hundred years unfold we need to encourage our leaders to behave, and to listen to the voices of the young, and to hope and pray that the futures of our politics and indeed our planet are not being irrevocably poisoned by greed and lies.
We need to continue to press forward in hope, and with integrity, respect and humility. And we need to pray - always.