The Sixth Sunday after The Epiphany

It was lovely being away – especially seeing family some of whom I hadn’t seen in over 3 years – as well as meeting two grandsons born in 2020 and 2021 for the first time – and it is good to be back. The flights were about 22 hours each way – and people regret asking me when they hear the answer as they shudder – but our world is pretty big! I didn’t see too much of it from the air – we were above the clouds or flying at night for most of it – but the little bit I saw (in southern Australia) reminded me that there are no dotted border lines on the ground and the countries are not coloured differently as in our maps. 

And yet how we see the world – globally – and nationally is in constant change it seems to me. The past decades of globalisation, multinational companies, the internet has contributed – not smoothly! – to an increasing worldwide perspective but the tensions that come with differing values, the simple fact that oil and gas from one nation can be stopped flowing to other nations, and the increasing ability of nation states to shut down the internet to their citizens emphasises as much as the existence of different languages that our world is divided, separated, and segregated in all sorts of ways. And coming at a time of increasing lack of accountability and increasing corruption and incompetence in leadership, as well as differing versions of truth are all contributing more and more to ‘everyone for themselves’ as much as possible.

I suppose this is just our version of how ‘the way the world always has been’. There is always hope for a better future for everyone while we try and do the best we can even at the expense of others. (I wonder if Cain had such thoughts as he suggested to Abel that they go for a walk?) But is that all life is?!

Religions will all say that life is more than getting through this world as best we can. Social media has proliferated gurus, masters, and influencers all offering better ways through aspects of life or life itself (are they the priests and prophets of our age?). And Christianity is very much part of the world story these days – it has been around for 20 centuries – and can be viewed with its checkered history as both part of the world’s problems and the solution to the world’s problems. Of course the Christians in Christianity want to keep their eyes on Jesus – and want the world to meet Jesus!

Here is the conundrum – that while Christianity is often thought of and presented as teachings (which you can accept or not) it remains a relationship – a discipleship – following Jesus and through him meeting God. We all behave according to how we view relationships – and it is the same with following Jesus. Christianity is really about meeting Jesus and following him which can be done by people all around the world. Following Jesus affects how we live, that’s for sure. We can struggle at times (often?) doing so but this Jesus is one worth following because of his death and resurrection and the truth that he never tires of being with us and loving and guiding us!