October 2012:Changing the world

We know our world is not as good as it could or should be. Strife and violence tell us that. Each of us bears scars, some physical, others more psychological or spiritual, to remind us of past hurts. How can we change things for the better?

There are many answers to that question, of course. But there is another problem: it's far too easy to leave it to someone else, while we deal with our own short-term problems. What will motivate enough people to try for a long-term change?

I would like to answer that faith would do that; and actually, I think it can. But there lies another problem: people of faith, like all people, generally prefer to act together, and their leaders, like all leaders, generally prefer to preserve or promote their status. Consequently, the kind of change that would bring a real improvement is unlikely, for the present at least. The kind of challenge to the status quo that Jesus presented in person to the authorities nearly 2000 years ago is absent today.

There are signs of hope, however. The information-sharing process that is happening through the Internet makes it easier for individuals to become aware of what is going on in the world, independently of their leaders. Leaders of all sorts are suddenly finding themselves under scrutiny; but this process can be manipulated to keep some matters out of the public eye, and some are unfairly victimised.

I believe there is a different kind of awareness that we should be promoting here. Too often we think only of ourselves, our families, our towns and cities, our sports team, our race. Yet Jesus taught us to love God first, then to love our neighbours; even our enemies. Peace is not the opposite of war, but the result of over-riding care for the other, active love for the enemy as well as friend and relative. If we can grow our awareness of others as people beloved by God, no matter who they are, there is a chance for change. And if 'God' does not work for you, then try substituting 'Existence'.

I'm not suggesting we should all be or think or do the same! Rather, let us reflect on, pray about and value our differences and fragility, in the light of our similarities and the scale of the universe we live in. If people of faith can come closer to God, listening rather than demanding, being changed rather than seeking to change others, we might find that we like it; and that's the best way to motivate change!



Looking for something different?

Our Sunday evening gathering is held weekly starting at 7pm, and includes time for reflection and open discussion of issues such as those raised by the reflection above, or in articles or questions presented by those who come. It's very informal, and we hope you'll feel at home if you aren't used to church activities, or if you can't stand traditional Sunday morning services. Refreshments are available throughout, and we usually finish around 8.30pm, but it depends on what we get to talking about. It's a great place to come if you have questions about life, the universe, or anything!

Those who have been members of other churches would probably find the 10:15am service more familiar.


About Parkdale Church of Christ

Parkdale Church of Christ is a small church made up of people of many different sorts, but united in that we have all responded to Jesus’ call in our own way, are learning more from him, and what this means for us in the midst of everyday life. It's a place where you could make a difference - but not somewhere to hide, so to be frank, if you are seeking a crowd to be lost in, or loud music, or feel-good entertainment, we're probably not what you want. On the other hand, if you would like to seriously explore matters of faith and life in the 21st century, asking deep questions without worrying about making the right impression, we’ll make you welcome.

Try the links at the top of the page to find out a bit more about us...by the way, we're real people, warts and all, and life is messy. Ok?

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Parkdale Church of Christ 2012-18 —A community of faith, hope and compassion.