There is a madness

I am very grateful that I was copied in to a video that Steve Watters put out privately to a few on WhatsApp. I have asked permission if I could post a transcript from the video. It is of course not a short but I think an important read. We are living in a season at least of huge shifts and redefinitions, with the West losing its hold on the future, and maybe something even bigger is happening. For the kingdom to come, imperial strength must go. For the multiplical-diverse voice of God to be heard (as in Pentecost where they all spoke or the book of Revelation and the sound of many waters) the voice of the beast has to be silenced. In this current throw the beast has not just been given a voice but is shouting so loud that all voices of the demos are being silenced.

Below then is the transcript from Steve’s video:

Like me, you might have struggled to find hope in the midst of some of the things going on in our politics over the last few years and the way that we’ve not been able to ‘talk to each other’ across different viewpoints.

I was reminded last November of the dream that a king had. King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a huge tree – the tallest tree in the land. The birds sheltered under it and the animals ate food from it. Then it was chopped down. The king was really worried by this dream and couldn’t find an explanation of what it meant. He eventually got an interpretation – Daniel said “Bad luck king, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’re going to go mad and you will be mad for ‘seven times’. You will lose your sanity and you will lose your kingdom – the tree is like your kingdom. You will eat grass like the cattle. But then after ‘seven times’ your sanity will be restored to you and then your kingdom will be restored to you too.”

That has felt like a fitting analogy to me over the last 9 months or so of where the UK is at. It feels like we have gone mad. Plus it feels like there is something in that madness that is to do with losing some of our kingdom, some of what the UK has been.

I’m not suggesting that to support Brexit is ‘madness’ – I think that’s totally legitimate. For me the madness is about the way that we haven’t been able to talk to each other, haven’t been to have a conversation. It’s about the division that we have seen sown across our communities and across our country.

We’re normally a ‘conservative’ country – agreed? I don’t mean the political party – I mean that we don’t change things very quickly as a country, we don’t like rocking the boat. We’re not like the French – we don’t have revolutions and things like that. We’re very slow to change.

So here we are… A normally ‘conservative’ country, willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater, willing to rock the boat. Even willing to really seriously rock the financial markets – something that we never want to do as a country, especially not under a tory government. Here we are ‘going mad’, with things changing.

So why? Where’s the hope in that? For me, the sense of hope is that there is a new identity to be found for us as a nation. We’ve never really shed our identity as the ruler of the British empire, as a colonial power, as a nation that expects to have a seat at the top table around the world. I think there’s a new, more redemptive identity for us to find as a nation, where perhaps the only way for us to find it, it seems, may be is that we need to be humbled. It certainly seems like we are being humbled – that our sanity is temporarily gone and that maybe our kingdom is going as well. So I see the chaos that goes on at the moment in politics, in communities and in conversations and I feel we need to pray for new identity and for new beginnings. Because we do need the old way to die.

I’ve been looking out for a sign… If you remember back when Greece was in chaos and reeling after the financial crash – yet in the middle of that Greece suddenly win the football and it felt like a sign – a moment in which Greece seemed to be losing everything and yet, really unexpectedly they won the football. So I’ve been watching out.

I thought earlier this year that perhaps England might win the football. We didn’t. But then it came to the weekend of the Cricket World Cup finals and I suddenly was struck – what greater symbol is there of British Empire than cricket! I was convinced that we were going to win the cricket final and I kept telling people watching the cricket final who were all really nervous – “Don’t worry, we’re going to win!”. They didn’t appreciate this, but sure enough, we won the cricket world cup.

To me that felt like the ‘last hurrah’ of the old way. Great to win the cricket, but it’s a symbol of the old identity that the UK has had, that needs to go. It felt like the last hurrah. It chimes for me with the style & personality of our current prime minister – it feels his style & personality is also a bit like a ‘last hurrah’ – it’s like going out with a bang of an old way of doing things that simply won’t serve us in the future, pushing to an extreme.

I also took note of the really big power cut that happened around the UK a few weeks ago. Again, that felt to me like a sign of the need to change and the need for new beginnings – the power being cut from the ‘old ways’. It was reported to be the biggest power cut in the UK since 2008 – the year of the financial crash. So I took note of it being the biggest power cut since 2008 – it’s a moment of disruption for us as a country. I also took note of the fact that the power cut happened on the 8th August. So the 8th of the 8th and the last one since ’08. The number 8 often symbolises new beginnings. After the 7 days, then there was the 8th day – the first day of a new week. So I think there’s an opportunity to pray for ‘new beginnings’ – for that 8th day to come, for that day when things are made new again.

We need a new beginning, a new identity as a nation. And as we know, people up and down this country in different communities need new beginnings & new starts for their situations.

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