14 May 2017

Easter 5 Many Mansions Sun 14 May 2017 -Vicar’s Reflection

“In my Father's house are many mansions” John 14.2 (KJV). This is a rather poignant saying of Jesus at a time when there is the greatest number of refugees on earth than ever before. According to the United Nations it is 65.3 million. In this country, there is inadequate housing and homelessness. According to the UN there are 295,000 children in poverty in this country, inadequate housing or homelessness being a major factor. When Jesus restored Saint Peter to leadership in the church by forgiving his betrayal, he did so by giving him a mandate or command: “Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep” John 21. This responsibility has ever since been entrusted to all leadership shaped by the influence of Jesus. Popes, Bishops, Emperors, Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime-Ministers have been judged and either commended or condemned on how well they have cared for their subjects. Caring for the flock of God, the people of this earth includes not just adequate food, but also shelter, and all aspects of living with dignity and respect. To live now when there is such great contrast between enormous wealth and power alongside homelessness, poverty and need suggests a colossal failure of leadership. It is time our leaders set aside their ego-fuelled games of war and economics and began to care for their people. In the ‘oikumene’ (household) of God there should be many dwelling places. Alex Czerwonka

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