I usually find myself more or less in agreement with Rowan Williams these days. He has a way of saying important thing but, delivered in his dry academic oratory style, I wonder if enough people actually take the trouble to listen? Despite the fact that I have not been part of the CofE for about 25 years, in many ways, I still see him as a spiritual leader for whom I have the utmost respect.
My mate Simon pointed at this Christmas sermon, as the theme of relationship and community is likely to be a central one for me this coming year.
This year the Archbish started with a fairly standard Christmas theme-
God has always been communicating with humanity, in any number of ways; but what we need from God is more than just information. The climax of the story is the sending of a Son: when all has been said and done on the level of information what still needs to be made clear to us is that the point of it all is relationship.
He then goes on to speak about the dependent nature of this relationship-
So the important thing is not that everyone gets to stand on their own two feet and turns into a reliable ‘independent’ consumer and contributor to the GNP. What we expect from each other in a generous and grown-up society is much more to do with all of us learning how to ask from each other, how to receive from each other, how to depend on the generosity of those who love us and stand alongside us. And that again means a particular care for those who need us most, who need us to secure their place and guarantee that there is nourishment and stability for them. As we learn how to be gratefully dependent, we learn how to attend to and respond to the dependence of others. Perhaps by God’s grace we shall learn in this way how to create a society in which real dependence is celebrated and safeguarded, not regarded with embarrassment or abused by the powerful and greedy.
God has spoken through a Son. He has called us all to become children at the cradle of the Son, the Word made flesh, so that we may grow into a glory that even the angels wonder at. To all who accept him he gives power and authority to become children of God, learning and growing into endless life and joy.
Well said Rowan.