Thoughts for the Month

The Right Reverend Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes, writes:

As I write this, the temperatures are soaring into the 30s and look set to remain so for the next few weeks. This in itself is not an indicator of human-induced climate change, but the scientific evidence for that is now overwhelming. It really is the most vital issue for our species to address if we don’t want half of our county underwater in 100 years. And yet our local MPs report that they don’t get a huge amount of correspondence about it. Other things seem more pressing. There is something in the human psyche that allows us to prioritise the urgent over the vital. We have a natural predisposition to focus on our personal concerns before spiralling out with decreasing levels of energy to family, community, and world.

Sometimes we need what is called ‘disruptive leadership’. The Bible calls it the ‘prophetic voice’: an irritating reminder that things are not all as well as they seem, and we cannot carry on the same way as we always have. Prophets tend to have a hard time of it because they challenge inertia. Jesus was a prophet par excellence in this regard. He was never driven by the expedient or being politically correct. He reminded people that the most pressing thing they needed to think about was their relationship with God and how that affected their dealings with other human beings. That remains the most pressing issue for us today. May we all hear afresh Jesus’ disruptive voice to move us out of our comfort zones to real kingdom living.

+Richard

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