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Recently I was reading in the Bible about a situation where a crowd was protesting about something. The wording is really descriptive: ‘Some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion and most of them did not know why they had come together.’
This sounds so much like what we often see happening nowadays. People are angry, frustrated, wanting something to change but sometimes without a clear understanding of the history behind issues and often with no developed sense of what will effectively bring about the change they’re looking for.
Changing deep seated aspects of culture or society, however flawed, can take a lot of patience. People will say, ‘We’ve been patient for long enough’ and that’s absolutely true in very many cases but really what needs to happen is dialogue.
There’s a real need for those in authority to enter into the kinds of conversations that are due and overdue but there’s also care needed from those who, perhaps rightly, are demanding change that they don’t polarise opinion by their actions.
In the Bible are many stories of conflict but underlying it all is the quest for justice in our common humanity under the love of God.
Rev Alexander Stoddart,
Duror and Glencoe Parish Churches