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Wednesday, 18 November 2015


OK, just got my old mobile phone ‘unlocked’ so that when I’m in the US I can buy another SIM card and use it as a Pay as You Go local phone. It will enable communication to happen when I am away without it costing an arm and a leg (I hope...) Well, at least no nasty surprise bills when I get back.

And it occurs to me, wouldn’t it be great if we could all go into a wee shop and pay a tenner to get our rock hard perspectives unlocked, enabling communication with those who live in another place and see things in a different way? 

And that takes me neatly to Jesus, who came to set us free (and it doesn't cost a tenner). To set us free from lots of things, including bigotry and narrow-mindedness and refusal to see things from someone else’s perspective. 

To set us free from seeing things through a telephoto lens focused on our own culture and way of life, to see things through a wide-angle lens from a divine vantage point.

Jesus died to set us free of our addiction to judging others by our own experiences and standards. Jesus died to set us free to have our minds transformed to the mind of Christ, so that we can see things from God’s perspective. Which is anything but narrow-minded, judgmental and bigoted, despite the centuries-old way he has often been portrayed and understood.

God is love. His arms are flung wide to welcome in any and all. Especially during these turbulent times, when the gut-reaction to insane violence is to single out other possible perpetrators based on our own profiling, single them out and then exclude them or exact revenge, we need to breathe deep, step back, take courage, and ask God for his perspective, for his grace and mercy, for his love. 

The lines of traumatised men, women and children snaking across Europe are filled with broken-hearted folk who have had to run away from everything familiar to them and hit the long and winding road, not knowing where it will end. They need a welcome, a safe place, a comforting hug. Yes, there may be infiltrators among them but God also gives us gifts of discernment and wisdom.

As the darkness sweeps in, may the light within us obliterate it, by the grace of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

May our hard hearts be forever unlocked by the love of Jesus, so that we can communicate freely with all, seeking to listen and understand as well as make our own voices heard.

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