The Bp of Salisbury’s 2018 New Year Message

Love is not a zero sum game which uses all our energy and exhausts us. Love creates energy and makes new possibilities. It knows how to give and receive. We are not here just to be consumers and gain us many things and experiences as we can buy. We are here as co-creators with God and one another and our to use our intelligence is to be used to make life better, to make an even better world. We are made for goodness.

So am I hopeful as we enter 2018? Yes, of course, and I don’t just mean I am optimistic. Hope is much more deeply rooted. It’s much more the sort of hope spoken by the survivors of Grenfell Tower after the memorial service at St Paul’s cathedral. They said that what they wanted is “truth and justice”. They didn’t think it especially complicated and said nothing about our living in a post-truth society with alternative facts. Their hope is that we will take the trouble to be a society that is about the truth. That is enduring and brings hope.

The prayer I often use as we enter the new year which was written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the dark years of Apartheid in South Africa.

Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.

Desmond Tutu (An African Prayer Book Hodder and Stoughton 1995)

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops