Rector's Letter - May 2003
My dear friends,
Let's face it, we're all getting older! You just can't get away from it in our house. At this time of year our family birthdays follow one another in quick succession. To our children it's part of life's great adventure. As each year goes by they grow in height, in knowledge, in strength and in independence. But as for me? Well, I seem to be going in the opposite direction! I find I grow broader not taller, my intellect is subject to "senior moments", and my occasional bouts of vigorous exercise have become distinctly less "vigorous" and decidedly more "occasional"!
If strength and might are the world's currency, then I am poorer by the day. "Shock and awe" and "overwhelming force" were the victorious military doctrines in the Gulf. And even in the complete disintegration of the Ba'athist regime, we see that it is young men in looting gangs that have risen to fill the vacuum in power.
So is this the whole story? Must it always be the loudest voice that is heard, or the strongest arm that holds sway in our world?
There is another model. I have been encouraged by my Easter meditations: Pilate claimed to have power over life and death. Christ's response was "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above". At Calvary, true power did not lie in the hands which wielded the hammer, but in the hands being nailed to the cross. In Christ's passion, power did not lie with the large mob who called for blood, but in Christ's prayerful acceptance of the cup of suffering.
So it is, that the weaker I get, the more clearly I am perceiving a deeper truth about the world. Ultimately, the true nature of power is not physical, but spiritual. And the older I get, the more I am realising that sometimes I need to pray more to my Father in heaven, rather than just do more in His service.
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