Vicar's Letter- February 2017

      Vicar’s letter – Handling Power

The whole world relies on power to keep it going. From each tiny cell inside of us using packets of power to keep us alive to the huge nuclear power stations that provide power for industries or whole cities there is a constant flow of power. Our planet is richly blessed with sources of power from coal and oil to wind, waves and solar power; we rely on power from many different sources. But power needs to be used wisely. One of the great challenges to the world at this point in our history is how to use power well.

The use of power is also a challenge for us as individuals. For we all have power. Power for us is simply what allows us to make things happen. We may think that our lives are controlled by others, by those that we say are in power; who have power over us. But we all have power within our own lives. We are free to make choices about how we live and how we respond to those around us, as well as those who might seek to control us.

Some of the very best examples of our human race have been those who have struggled against oppressive power. Think of Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela; each chose to stand up to the misuse of power and by the way that they lived, the choices that they made set people free to experience a new way of life. Then there are those who we admire most for the wise use of power. Our Queen in her reign has been such an example of power used in the service of her people. The humble acceptance of her position and her total commitment to her role has enabled her to guide our nation through decades of immense change.

But we should all be aware of the power that each one of us has. For we all have power. We have the power to say a kind word or to give someone a smile or a hug. Just as we also have the power to put people down, dismiss or ignore them.

I came across these words the other day: ‘When I was young I set out to change the world. When I grew a little older, I realised this was too ambitious so set out to change my community. When I could not even do this, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man, I know I should have started by changing myself. If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded in changing my family, the community, and who knows even the world!’

We must all make choices to use the power that we have been given well. The Christian faith believes that we have all been blessed so that we might be a blessing to others. And no one can take that power away from us.

May we all be blessed by making good choices,                        Neil

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