It was good to have Lord Malloch-Brown as our guest in conversation on Sunday. Good conversation is vital for our mutual flourishing. We might not all agree, but to be able to sit down with one another is important. I hope our politicians can, through conversation, negotiate this impasse we have reached as a nation. It is obvious that we need a mechanism to hear each other, as politicians, individuals and as a nation – there are a lot of very entrenched views out there and some very angry people. Sitting down together with a cup of tea, as our Archbishops have suggested, is moving in the right direction, however personally I think we will need something a bit more formal, a truth and reconciliation commission might sound a bit dramatic, but we will certainly need a mechanism for reconciliation once this is all over.
Reconciliation in a Christian context is not just about saying sorry, it is much more than that. It is applying the brakes, stopping, considering and sometimes in response to our thoughtful consideration changing direction. Hospitality in a Christian context is recognising the inherent value in each individual. We are called to value people not because of who they are, where they have been or what they do, but simply because they are…made in the image of God and God loves that which he has created. You don’t need to like everybody you meet on life’s journey, but you must recognise that in God’s eyes they do have value.
I’m sure the Church will have a part to play in facilitating our national conversation, when it comes. In the meantime let us pray for ourselves, our nation and those we struggle, or find it impossible to agree with.
A few Sundays ago Fr Simon drew our attention to a talk entitled ‘Jesus Christ: The Unanswered Questions’ being given at St Paul’s Cathedral by Rowan Williams. This is one of the many excellent talks organised by St Paul’s and open, free of charge, to anyone who wishes to attend. It is not always easy to give up a whole evening to travel there and listen to these speakers so the cathedral usually uploads onto its website a video of the event within a few days of its taking place. The talk by Rowan Williams is now available on the cathedral’s website. I commend it to you and you can watch it by following the following link:
With every blessing