Vicar’s Reflection: OS 28, October 15th, 2017
Nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past. It seems harmless but it can lead us astray. The allure of a ‘better’ past means we can try to re-create it, while failing to see the realities and opportunities before us. I hear this reflected in questions people sometimes ask me: “Why don’t we have Evensong anymore?”, “What has happened to Sunday School?” “If only people weren’t so busy on Sunday morning maybe they would come to church”. Those questions reflect a past reality. The present and the future are different. The clock cannot be turned back to a time without smart phones; ‘reality’ TV; Sunday shopping and sports; weekend work commitments; and addiction to social media. These things unavoidably shape our lives, our society and the life of the church. In this new world we must find new ways to be living witnesses to the reality of God’s love in Jesus Christ. The people of Israel fell into the trap of nostalgia when they formed a ‘god’ of their own, a golden calf; it was also an act of defiant idolatry. They wanted to go back to the past life of slavery because even as slaves they had food and drink and entertainment aplenty. One thing hasn’t changed: the crowd always go one way while those who seek God go another, as Jesus concluded his parable: “Many are called, few are chosen.” God invites us to face the future boldly together.