I wonder if you have ever thought about how different the world is now from what it was 50 years ago? And in turn how much has the Church has changed in that time?
This questions has bugged me for a few weeks now. The answer not only scares me but also makes me angry.
I begin with thanks to the previous generation before us, as we now live in a small world. Now we can make up on a different side of the world than we went to bed in. We can find information out about pretty much anything we like. We basically have the world at our fingertips. The world has been reduced. However this isn’t all positive.
I believe my generation has two questions to answer…
1. How can we make the world safer?
You only have to do one Google search to see how fractured this world really is. The first challenge we must face up to, is that now the world is less safer than ever before, for many reasons. Firstly we now know more of the problems that this world faces. The not knowing the answer is now not an options, we all know. Secondly because small minorities are now not voiceless, anymore. They have truly found a voice in the world. Thirdly as we gain more knowledge it easier to make destructive items and cause chaos.
2.How can we make the world sustainable?
We cannot continue on the path we are on. The world has become obsessed with stuff and at some point we have to become aware that we have a responsibility to look after the gift we have been given. Also with rising oil and food prices, we will have to find a solution to these deep issues. No longer can we just be consumers, we need to become partners in this world. Being sustainable needs to not just be for hippies and weirdos but for us all.
I find myself returning back to consider how we love the neighbour, the orphan, the widow, the alien, the fatherless, the homeless and the world. The Church hasn’t been particularly welcoming to these people for a long time. We engage them at our backdoors but the moment they enter our front doors (in some of my experiences, not all I may add) we become uncomfortable because they intrude on ‘our time’. I am unsure if we have truly understood what it means to be a church or maybe put like this, we have become more involved in our rituals and practices that we have missed Jesus.
The Church has to shape up if we are truly want to be a change agent in this world.
Massive thanks to Simon Sutcliffe for some of these thoughts.