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Jesus showed clear head is needed in times of turmoil

Thought for the weekend

By Allen Sleith

Well what a month it's been in national politics! If anyone's been inclined to think that politics is a boring turn-off then the past few weeks have offered a serious challenge to any such theory. We knew the EU referendum was likely to be close with something of the order of a 52/48 split.

What nearly everyone expected was that the result would tilt slightly in favour of remaining in the EU. When the result tipped the other way, it seems that even those who were keen on Brexit began to boggle at the prospect of what comes next.

What has come next has been a veritable 'domino-effect' of resignations, recriminations and realignments. Even William Shakespeare would be hard pushed to write a play to surpass, let alone equal, the drama of unfolding events with many of the significant players falling on their swords, stabbing each other in both the front and back just to make sure, and generally making a mockery of the ability to even half-guess what might happen each time the clock struck 12.

If the Conservative Party was all at sea for a time until Theresa May seemed to steady the helm, the Labour Party is caught up in a tsunami of confusion, incompetence and dear knows what.

In the turmoil of his context, Jesus offered a clear head, a calm heart and a wise discerning spirit. In reading the signs of the times with a mind and will attuned to the ways of God, indeed, as the church claims, the very word and will and way of God incarnate, he became his own answer to the need for the common good to be done in and for the world around.

Chief among his instructions was for his followers to 'carry their cross' in obedience to him. People differ on what that phrase means. But for me, the best contemporary paraphrase is that when we carry our cross we are 'shouldering responsibility' not shirking responsibility, for the common good as inspired by the God made known in Christ. That involves conventional politics, as we know it, but so much more as well, a criss-cross of debates, deeds and policies shaped in the image of Christ himself.

Belfast Telegraph


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