Monday, February 12, 2024

Finding our way in 2024?

To be honest, I haven't got much to say this week. Not much by way of any burning issues on my mind. It has been a busy week and all sorts of matters have come up, but if I may take today (as I write) Sunday as the last day of the busy week, then it has ended up on a good note.

The goodness of the note perhaps needs some background about the badness of our current situation!

Even since I wrote that last sentence I see that Trump has been reported this morning as saying something about Putin should attack NATO countries ... but the Putin/(potential) Trump/Xi Jiang axis, or Putin/Xi v (potentially very frail Biden) scenario of global disruption/war is terrifying (do we in the West care for democracy and economic well-being enough to fight for it?). Can anyone plausibly argue that Western civilization/culture - at least the version with the USA as its bodyguard) is not entering its death throes? (Sure, there is lots not to commend about Western civilization/culture, and lots to applaud in cultures the West may not understand well ... but the replacement of Western civilization would appear to be a very unfree society (or set of societies), including a lack of freedom to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people.

OK, that's a bit about the global scene. Things here in the Blessed Isles are not all as blessed as many would like. Many of us, and I am in the "us" are anxious about the turn of events where a significant part of our government is firing up all kinds of nonsense and several kinds of unfortunate prejudices within us in respect of our history of inequitable treatment of Māori. For this to end well is going to take very, very good leadership, and not only by the majority part of our Government - also by our Opposition parties (who are struggling to find their voice after their defeat in the recent election).

And, very generally, speaking, both globally and locally, the place of Christianity in Christian/post-Christian societies remains challenging and challenged: we do good (still recognised) and, or but, we have stories of horror (sexual abuse, abuse of power by leaders etc) and stories of stupidity (evangelicals supporting Trump etc). At best we are ignored by most of society and at worst derided, openly or behind our backs. Our church stats in the West are telling of our situation: belief numbers, attendances numbers at best static, at worst declining.

So, yesterday (as I write this morning), was a good daym a good note to end the last seven days on: two church visits, two growing congregations, those congregations with younger generations within them.

There is hope for the church. There is hope for the church that it will be renewed as the hope of the world.

2024 is going to be a wild ride. Let's hang in there and hold tight to Jesus!

1 comment:

Liz C. said...

Democracy's currently in a perilous position. If +Peter's ok with it I'm sharing a GIFT article from The Washington Post from my Inbox this morning. It throws some light on the complex situation in US RW-politics. Mitch McConnell tried to secure Ukraine funding.. BU.. so many twists and turns, and outside influences (Trump, Tucker, Fox, etc). Two paragraphs from the (lengthy) article:

McConnell, who is the longest-serving leader in Senate history, describes himself as a “longtime observer and foe” of Russia and prides himself on being involved in efforts to expand the NATO alliance to protect former Soviet Union countries from any expansionist aspirations on the part of Vladimir Putin.

But he also realizes that many Republican base voters — and lawmakers — do not see the world the same way he does. An “America First” view of the world spearheaded by Trump has overtaken the Ronald Reagan “Peace through Strength” mantra that McConnell believes in.

GIFT Link: