From the Vicarage November 2019
as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life
'Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot....'
Well it's a strange thing writing this reflection in mid-October and not knowing whether, when people are reading it, our country will be in quite the same state as it was today. The little ditty above of course relates to Guido Fawkes' attempt to blow-up parliament, for the State's persecution of Catholic Christians... Recently, since changes in the law after 2005, all protests must be booked in advance with route-maps and organisers' details handed over and with permits granted by the local council... There must be a middle way between the two, to allow differing voices to be strongly heard, without random violence or suffocating control
It's strange to think that Jesus himself was living in a time of fierce political upheaval, when control of the region by Caesar and the military forces of secular Rome were tempting many young Jewish people to plan violent rebellion. Then as now, two extreme roles of 'miserable persecuted victim' or 'outraged righteous crusader' are sadly often the ones that human beings are tempted to take when faced with great troubles, injustice or strong divisions - but Jesus did not.. He showed us a strange and different way from that of the world that of 'blessing those who persecute us'. No matter how wrong the world had it, or how unfairly he was treated, Jesus neither backed down, NOR rose to violence - but stood in the power of the Truth - ready to speak truth in love and show mercy, even in the power of God's righteousness
In Christ 'Mercy and Truth are met together, Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other' (Psalm 85)...
In places of division, we need to do the same
With love and blessings
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