Thursday, July 17, 2008

Archbishop Rowan's York Sermon

Regular dropper-inners here will know that I stubbornly work my way through newspapers and magazines a few days, or months, behind the rest of the world. It's interesting how we have 24/7 news on radio, TV and t'internet so we use our hard copy for views, opinion and comment. Reading the news and comment after a brief delay is a good way of finding out if it was prescient or not. A great test of prophecy (ancient Chinese proverb say) is whether or not it comes true.

So I reached last Friday's Church of England Newspaper (mental note, column due soon, help) this morning and read the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury's pre-synod sermon. You can read it here.

I think it's astounding. His nuancing - I made that word up - is exemplary. You get the impression that every word he writes, and then speaks, has been lined up, put in place and without it the whole meaning of everything will change. Every word. He is good to listen to. Certainly better than to look at but that's my problem. I'd love him to read to me as I dropped off to sleep. But to read him you can but wonder at the struggle the text and he have shared to come out looking and sounding like this.

He may have made mistakes as a leader. Who knows? He may be a genius leader. I refer the right-honourable readers to the ancient Chinese proverb. But his text. Wow. A sample to end:

'We live under law, different kinds of law. The law of God, which is for our health, and the law we make for ourselves. We long to be masters of our future, and so we become the prisoners of our past. We long to take control of the world we're in. And because we are who we are, and our histories have been what they have been, we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into unfreedom.'

If that's not a thought for the day I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Mr Gnome said...

Well said!

Archbishop R is a rather wonderful person - and that's not because he and I share a liking for bushy facial fuzziness.

Check out the next issue of the CPAS CL magazine for some unsolicited evidence of the powerful impact his personal enthusiasm and encouragement are making on the week-in-week-out mission of thousands of churches throughought England.