Jesus uncovers a different kind of significance

Albert Bogle June 15, 2016 0 1
Jesus uncovers a different kind of significance

We who live in Western democracies often think we live in a free society. Most of us believe this freedom offers us a significance – a freedom to make ground breaking discoveries. The truth is we are less free than we think. There is no person or no nation, totally free.  We all have obligations and commitments to fulfil.  Each obligation at a personal or governmental level redefines my freedom. Everyone lives with a certain amount of interdependency because we are citizens in a world that is not only interconnected, through personal relationships and political treaties, but also due to multi-nationals that have created a global economic system. It is this economic system that often operates at the expense of the poor and the vulnerable, those who are deemed insignificant.

The development of technology and the rise of digital communication systems has brought about an awareness of the needs of others who live in distant places and the economic exploitation that happens when the so called ‘market economy’ is allowed to prevail without any kind of regulation. 

This awareness creates within us all a moral struggle. We can no longer pretend that we don’t know. We do know. Indeed the issues that now face us in the UK, regarding the referendum whether to stay in the European Union or leave, are issues that seem to me, to be about sharing and caring. It raises the age old question that Abel asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  It causes me to question, is it right to ask myself, “What do we get out of this?”  Should I not be asking, ‘How can we serve each other? How can we change mindsets in my local community that require to be changed? How can we make the European Community work better for the good of all?

Many commentators have noticed the rise of the less politically correct politicians on both sides of the Atlantic and even in mainland Europe.  Donald Trump who seems to be now recognised as the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency of the USA has the slogan, ‘We will make America great again”.  Of course this begs the question, what is it that makes a nation great? What is it that makes a person great? 

When we begin to reflect on these political issues, bringing Jesus into the conversation turns our logic upside down. Jesus suggests that true greatness lies in humility and servanthood which is driven by a sense of generosity and a love for one another. To paraphrase a verse from the Bible, “It is to seek to do to others what we would want them to do to us.” It is recognising each needy person as valuable.
One thing I’m certain about is this, true greatness is not found in wealth nor in the desire to be secure and comfortable.  Rather it is when we honour the least among us we discover a different kind of significance that reveals true greatness in seeking the good of another rather than one’s own self interest. When a group of nations aspire to such greatness – humility and servanthood - the possibilities of peace and equality need not remain a dream.