I think we all like a good conspiracy theory.
But I have to say that I keep wondering whether the world I experience day by day ‘on the surface’ is not some kind of dream – a world away from harsh realities that are just under my nose, but remain hidden by the presenting gloss I encounter.
The sermon at Grace Cathedral on Sunday was based on a reading from the Book of Samuel. The people demand a king for themselves. They want to be like all the other surrounding nations.
(As an aside, on our travels I am amazed to discover that so much of what I thought was innovative back home has been copied across international boundaries. And vice-versa! So that’s why our pollies go on these overseas trips!)
In the history of the Jews, until this time, they depended on the prophet for wisdom and direction. Samuel seeks God’s direction and surprisingly, God responds, ‘Give them what they want, but warn them first’. Samuel paints a bleak picture of the consequences to the elders. But their minds are made up.
Does this sound familiar?
The exhortation of the preacher is to live examined lives. ‘Why do we want what we want? And what are the consequences?’
The article from The Chronicle Review is timely. It points to a world behind my world. It affirms the work of honest scholarship. It helps me appreciate my refugee neighbour. It prompts me to be more critical of political grand designs and what may lie behind them. And it challenges me to self-examination and a life of compassion with a view to the just world Jesus pointed to.
Please read the article and reflect on the possibility of Australia’s complicity.