The Bishop's Comment: Fruit-bearers John 15:16

3rd May 2022

A year ago at the height of the pandemic the novelist Sam Byers was reflecting on his new novel 'Come Join Our Disease'. (Faber and Faber) 

His main concern is the 'challenges and contradictions of personal and collective freedom'.

In an article he continues 'Only through more robust sense of self, we believe, can we muster the rebellious energy by which the unjust world around us might be changed. And yet, deep down, we know the truth: that our unjust world depends for its survival on the very project of self-hood in which we are all so over-invested'. (Guardian Review 27.3.21 p22) 

We experience this for example, in our culture of personal consumption in a world agonising over misuse of scarce resources. After a pandemic of restrictions, we are back on the roads and holidaying by air. 

As Christians we pray 'Thy Kingdom Come' between Easter and Pentecost. Let us use this time to reflect on what we would say and do in response to the novelist's acute observation of the human dilemma.

A brief Bible study around the following passages will help. 

The quicker we receive and practise the self-awareness and self-definition of being 'the new creation' (2Corinthinas 5:17) and the freedom of being in Christ (Galatians 2:20) who said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, fruit that will last" (John 15:16), the quicker we will be free to enjoy a grace-given life that loves our neighbour as our self.