A number of years ago I had a dream where I was standing in a city square and on the opposite side of the square were buildings. I knew each one represented an institution that had been shaped by, and in turn, shaped the public square. Then at the same moment all the façades of the buildings came forward and then up so that what was inside became visible. Then at a point of time they all shut down again, with everything back to ‘normal’.
Have we entered a season again of the façades opening?
- The paradise papers… tax evasion / tax avoidance
- The sexual scandals in Hollywood and now in the British parliament
- Spain… (more immediately below!!)
Restoring law and order. Really? Proclaimed by the party who have currently just under 900 national or regional delegates in court, on the way to court or suspects of breaking the law! Accusing the Catalan government of rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of money – so proclaims the party that have given no answer to where the 40 billion has disappeared…
Democracy means we can declare independence. Not a small change, but based on a turnout of 43%!
Law, order and democracy – all words that will have to be re-defined if the above continues.
(I think many political situations could be added here: the Brexit also far from going the way promised. I seem to remember wonderful suggestions of so much extra money on the way to support the NHS.)
Have we entered a season again of the façades opening? I think so.
Back to the dream. The reason why the façades all closed up again was that the church began to sing a well-known song. The familiar was the place of safe retreat. I think it is vital that we grasp the role of the church in the public square. If Jesus has, and delegated, all authority it seems what the church does, how it positions herself is very key. The fallback to the familiar was what caused the problem. The closure then was cemented by the statement that:
It is the familiar that brings things back to normal.
So maybe we have a fresh opportunity at responding differently to singing the old familiar songs. Seems to me that the challenge of nor resorting to the familiar is that we have to travel on to ground that we do not know how to navigate – it is unfamiliar.