As I write this article the UK has just left the European Union and entered a period of transition during which all sorts of negotiations and changes will take place. Transition is often difficult and challenging as many things we have become familiar and comfortable with are replaced by the new and unfamiliar. Locally, the Anglican Church is also in a state of transition following Tony’s retirement at the end of January. The year 2020, and indeed the decade of the 2020’s, seems set to be one of transitions.
In addition to local and national transitions there is a global transition on the horizon. We have dire warnings from scientists and environmental pressure groups that there needs to be an urgent transition from our present way of life to a carbon neutral and then on to a carbon negative lifestyle. This will involve radical and sometimes difficult changes at all levels from personal right up to national and international action.
This call to change the way we are living is not at all new and was present in both John the Baptist’s and Jesus messages some 2000 years ago: Repent (change the way you are living) if you want everything to be well (the Jews of the time were looking forward to an age of peace, justice and prosperity which they called ‘the Kingdom’), Not a million miles away from the message of scientists and environmental activists of the 21st century!
The context of these two appeals for a change to the way of life are very different, one was a call to prepare for the coming of the long awaited Jewish Messiah, the other is from scientists and others who can see a massive problem developing. Our western 21st century way of life needs to change, not only to address global environmental problems, but also to ensure a fairer distribution of the planets resources. We need to live in a way that treats our fellow human beings in the way we would wish to be treated – ‘to love our neighbour as ourselves’ as Jesus put it once, quoting a much older principle.
For an individual’s commitment to live this way to realise it’s full potential, however, there needs to be a transformation in government and co-operation globally. Christians still look forward to the coming of the Messiah (more commonly referred to as the return of Jesus) to establish a global government of peace and justice in which the individual commitment to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves can be fully realised.
Good news indeed!
Brian Norris CONTACT: During the transition all contacts which would have gone to the rector should be made to: Vanessa Whitting: Tel: 01579 382484 Email: vwhitting @outlook.com