Sermon #18 (7th August 2016 at Essex Church / Kensington Unitarians)
Sometimes – quite often, if I’m honest – I feel a sense of despair about the state of the world. If we look at the big picture of world events then there often seem to be plenty of reasons to feel like we’re a bit beyond hope as a species… collectively incapable of making wise choices… and we might well take the rest of the planet down with us in a catastrophic blow-out when we go.
In many ways, here in Britain, over the course of my lifetime at least, we have been largely shielded from the very worst of the chaos. At the moment, there is not war playing out on our doorsteps, and the effects of climate change are as yet not sweeping our homes away, not here in London anyway… but political upheaval is having an impact, ever closer to home, or so it seems to me. Policies which serve to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few are ever-more-the-norm and those basic rights which had seemed sacrosanct for so long in this country – the welfare state, free education, social housing, the NHS – are being whittled away, one by one. The gulf between the haves and have-nots seems to get greater by the year and there is a scary tendency to scapegoat those in genuine need as ‘scroungers’ to justify the starvation of funds to vital public services and to stir up disregard for the common good.