As things change in life we would hope they change for good, and that people would become more tolerant of one another.
In reality that doesn’t appear to be the case.
In many parts of Europe, nationalism in its worst form has made a resurgence following economic hardship in many countries. Tolerance among Christians has grown and churches are working more closely together (particularly here in Whitby) yet even so there are still fractures within denominations. The Anglican communion is split regarding gay marriages, and the ordination or consecration of women as priests and bishops. These changes haven’t been fully accepted in all quarters.
We would have thought that as the world changes religious tolerance would grow. Yet in today’s world the threat of Islamic extremism holds many people in fear. France, Tunisia, Turkey, and other countries have seen first-hand the worst effects of extremism in the bombings and shootings that have taken place. Yet let’s not be fooled by it because the vast majority of believers in Islam abhor what has been done supposedly in the name of Islam.
In a changing world we’d have thought that humanity would have learnt how to care for one another and give support to those in most need, yet just look at the millions of displaced peoples in our world. Look at the migrant crisis in Europe, and the worldwide refugee crisis. Is this really the way we want our world to be?
Next week in the Christian church we begin the season of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) and in the Christian church here in the west it is used as a time for prayer and penance, which enables Christians to enhance or perhaps repair their relationship with God.
Maybe this Lent could be used to think and pray about all those things in our world that fracture, or disable humanity. Perhaps we could think about the part we individuals play in our communities and in the wider community of the world. Even in our personal relationships there maybe areas of conflict that need to be addressed in order to bring harmony.
Maybe this Lent, with the help of God, we can repair that which divides us in all areas of life.
God bless you all.