Posted by: rogermitchell | December 10, 2018

Love Uprising

As Christmas approaches amid one of the most chaotic political moments in recent British history it is good to remember that the incarnation of Jesus is a love uprising that cannot be thwarted. I like the way that the writer of the Old Testament book of Lamentations deplores what is happening in his time yet cannot stave off hope. As he puts it: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:21-23). It is not that it doesn’t matter whether we leave the EU or on what terms.  Love and hope don’t come without agency and action. I shall be spending much of the next week with a core group of activists and Europe lovers from across Europe (which includes the islands of Britain and Ireland of course) praying for the peace and prosperity of all its inhabitants, and especially the poor and the immigrant.

I do understand and sympathise with those who are sick of the established powers – those who rose up during the Arab Spring, those who voted for Trump in the USA, for Brexit in the UK and those now embodied in the Yellow Vests who became so quickly disenchanted with Macron in France. As my research sets out clearly for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, we still live with an establishment whose genealogy runs from the age old deceit that peace and prosperity come through the leadership of those with sovereign power vouchsafed by military might and money.  A lie forged in the partnership of church and empire in Roman times that persisted throughout Christendom, Enlightenment, Modernity, Secularisation, the World Wars, the Cold War and its aftermath right up until today’s political gridlock. If you are still unfamiliar with my work on this, my book Church, Gospel and Empire: How the Politics of Sovereignty Impregnated the West, together with the shorter and more accessible The Fall of the Church are both readily available electronically or in print from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Church-Gospel-Empire-Sovereignty-Impregnated/dp/1610977440

While scapegoating, blame, frustration, impatience and even violence may be the order of the day, they are not what we need, nor what is true to the underlying deep structural substance of the world.  The message of peace on earth, goodwill to humanity that the Bethlehem shepherds brought in their occupied lands of Roman times is still the hope for the occupied territories of Bethlehem and the conflicts of the Middle East today. It is still the hope for the record number of working families in poverty as a result of economic austerity and the vagaries of Universal Credit throughout the UK right now.  Of course some seasonal message of hope is not enough.  Substantial peace on earth can only come through a genuine uprising of love.  We need a practical politics of love for neighbours, yes, and enemies, lived out day by day by all who have the desire, opportunity and calling to be a subversive gift at both the personal and systemic level.  Anyone who wants to can embrace this. This is incarnation, this is the kind of hope that doesn’t disappoint, this is still available here and now.

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Responses

  1. Yesterday I used Psalm 77 as our call to worship. It speaks of the same attitude of hope amidst despair. “Has God’s promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord…You are the God who performs miracles, you display your powerful love among the peoples.”
    Thank you Roger, for working tirelessly to give us a perspective of hope that there is a way through the present political chaos to a new day where the poor and marginalized move to the center of our agendas.

  2. Reblogged this on hungarywolf and commented:
    Thank you for these thoughts. I live in Hungary with my binational family and am feeling so depressed both by Brexit and the migration ‘crisis’ or controversy here. Everything we’ve witnessed and worked for is being thrown away.

  3. EU referendum: welcome to the divided, angry Kingdom – video

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2016/jun/22/eu-referendum-welcome-to-the-divided-angry-kingdom-video?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Dear Roger Many thanks for this blog. I was watching this today, a 4 part series the Brexit. It left me sad, but your blog restored the balance. Much love to you, Sue and the family If you’re ever this side of the Pennines and come to LEEDS, pls let us know With you in the spirit of prayer Alan & Lindy PS Tom Wright is speaking in Leeds, Saturday jan 12, evening. Check it out : sthild.org/news

    On Mon, 10 Dec 2018 at 19:28, Roger Haydon Mitchell’s Blog wrote:

    > rogermitchell posted: “As Christmas approaches amid one of the most > chaotic political moments in recent British history it is good to remember > that the incarnation of Jesus is a love uprising that cannot be thwarted. I > like the way that the writer of the Old Testament book of L” >


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