The Parish of Sandal Magna

Who are we following?


Whom do we admire and put our trust in to guide us? The question arises because in recent years some of those whom we used to follow or support, the leaders of our society, have let us down, badly. Whether it is the MP's expenses scandal, or the delays in pursuing justice after the Hillsborough disaster, or the Orgreave policing cover-up, or the shocking abuse and cover-ups by the Church, our trust in those who lead us has been seriously eroded. Perhaps we follow celebrities on Twitter. Katy Perry is most followed with 93 million! Barack Obama is fourth with 73 million, the Pope has a mere 9.8 million. I opened an account six years ago and have 4 followers! The truth is that if we follow and put our trust in human beings, we will inevitably be let down, because they are…human!

Surely if we follow God, we will be alright. Even then it is not so simple because the single minded pursuit of God can lead to fanaticism and intolerance of those who don’t ascribe to your beliefs. Many terrible things have been done in the name of religious leaders. Religion and power make for a dangerous cocktail.

For those who are Christian, there is a simplicity in the call of Jesus: "Follow me". Christians were originally called "followers of the Way", because Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". Jesus didn't just teach a self-sacrificial way of life, he embodied God’s love, being prepared to lay down his life for the sake of others. He didn't mix with the privileged of his day, but chose to spend time among the meek and the poor, the hurting and the marginalised. By abdicating his divine power, by becoming vulnerable like us, as a baby and then as a victim of injustice, he showed his integrity and complete trust in God. God could work through him to bring salvation to humankind because he alone could lead a perfect life and die a perfect death. So it is his selfless weakness not his power which enables us to follow him with conviction and trust, knowing that he will never let us down. 
Who are we choosing to follow?

Rupert




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