Earlier this week I posted on Facebook, for a bit of fun this picture (below) of a new pair of crocs that Alison has got for me; my hope was that it would raise a bit of a laugh, and I think it did.
However it did set me off thinking………………..
What if the world was divided according to our footwear ? Those who wore crocs the whole time and those who wore `sensible` footwear. What if this created an economic situation whereby one group or the other were prejudiced against in terms of income, housing, education etc. You`re probably reading this and seriously wondering if I`ve eventually lost it !
But stick with me on this one for I want to suggest that the world is sadly divided between those who stick rigidly to the latest fashion in clothes, footwear, styles, and those who don`t. The older generation criticise the younger generation for their style “look at the way she’s dressed !” “Ha, men wearing ear rings“, “hairs too long (or short)” and so on. Meanwhile the younger generation are criticising the older generation “dad-dancing !“, “grannies always wear cardigans and slippers“, “they shouldn’t be doing that at their age, disgusting !”
It’s always been that way, and I recognise that but it reveals a rather nasty human trait and that is our ability to be judgemental of others based on the most inconsequential of things such as fashion, style, football teams, pop stars, film icons etc. Worse still humanity takes it to its extremes as we base our prejudice not on the goodness of a person but on the colour of their skin, on their sexuality (even if we hide behind the comment “I`m not racist but….” or, “I`m not anti-gay but the Bible says……”), on their different culture, and it all smacks of our judgement that our way, our way of thinking must be better than everyone else: we are right, they are wrong.
Alison recently bought an excellent fridge magnet which says quite simply “Don`t let facts get in the road of my opinions” and its so true of all of us, myself included.
What frightens me is when such prejudices are escalated and heightened by certain groups. I fear the current rise in anti-Islam fuelled by the atrocities of ISIS, and the way in which the media are beginning to predict Jihadist atrocities in Britain. This way of thinking, even if its true, will lead to some British idiot “getting the first blow in” against some innocent Muslim. Groups such as “Britain First”, BNP, NF are behind some of this fear.
I look further afield and I see the fighting in Gaza between Palestinian and Israeli, in Afghanistan, in uprisings against certain religions in Pakistan and also in India, and I find myself more and more crying “Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, send peace”
The President of the Methodist Conference has asked all Methodists to pray in worship tomorrow the following prayer…………………….. as you read it please pray it with me
- God of love, guide us as we pray: God of love, guide us as we pray.
- God of all nations and people, hear our prayers for the people of Syria and Iraq, and for all whose lives are torn apart by hatred and violence, whose heartbreak is more than we can imagine: God of compassion, guide us as we pray.
- For leaders and politicians and those who seek to negotiate for peace, whose responsibility is more than we could bear: God of wisdom, guide us as we pray.
- For aid workers, medical staff, those who care for refugees, orphaned children and older people, whose daily workload is more than we could tolerate: God of goodness, guide us as we pray.
- For those who feel compelled to accomplish their justice through warfare or terrorism, whose motivation is more than we can comprehend: God of justice, guide us as we pray.
- For ourselves, who look on, devastated and helpless, praying to our God whose peace is beyond our understanding: God of peace, guide us as we pray.
- In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: