Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good news for modern man?

Richard Chartres
I was moved by this quotation from Richard Chartres, Bishop of London: "Only a crisis brings about real change. When the crisis occurs the ideas that are adopted are those which are readily available. It is part of the duty of the Church to keep alive alternative ways of thinking and living in preparation for the time when the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable."

Saint Paul wrote,  "The appointed time has grown short... The present structure of the world is passing away." (I Cor 7:29-31) An advocate for a minority cult, facing a massive and apparently stable empire, he was nevertheless confident in proclaiming a message - a 'gospel', good news, an alternative way of thinking and living - with which he had been entrusted and which his world needed to hear.

Part of the gospel for Westerners today is that "a person's life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions" (Luke 12:15). Are we ready to proclaim this as "good news"? Because one day people will come asking the church, "We have heard that you know a way of living which is not always about 'more'. We need that now.  Tell us, please, how it can be."

Will the church have an answer?

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