The Bishop's Comment: Making the strange familiar and the familiar strangeĀ 

1st November 2021

A friend asked me what I thought the world’s population is today and what is was when we left school some 50 years ago. I underestimated the difference by three billion people.

At a time of unfamiliar change, with its multiple crises of climate, health and economy what tools do we have with which to assess our context and make sensible decisions?

Those like me who need better data, can turn to Hans Rosling’s ‘Factfulness’ (Sceptre 2018) and have our inherent biases challenged and re-set.

Or if you, as I do, prefer to start with persons and society, Gillian Tett in ‘Anthro Vision’ (Penguin 2021) advocates a mindset of ‘empathy for strangers and valuing diversity’ and aims to ‘make the strange familiar and the familiar strange’.

Christians have the advantage of listening to and learning from the Lord Jesus who re-set assumptions about God and Society. His disruption led to changed lives and a new way of being together.

Read again Jesus’ encounters with the person who was let down through a roof or the blind Bartimaeus shouting from the roadside.

Where are you in these stories?

Are you ready to be surprised by Jesus’ revolutionary insight? Sins forgiven before getting up and walking (Luke 5:17ff) A blindingly obvious question before any divine intervention ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ (Mark 10:46ff) 

 

All Saints Day 2021

“Sovereign God, may the light of your presence which the Saints enjoy, surround our steps as we journey on” (Common Worship)