Welcome to St Leonards Church Brighton
We continue to be an open, diverse, welcoming church, in this time of Covid19. Come, join us on line.
We continue to meet in different ways and different places.
Share with us through….
- Video Worship Services
- Daily Reflections
- Children/Family online. (click for children/families)
- A variety of online studies, events and zooms
I the Lord of sea and sky
Still haven’t found what I’m looking for – U2
Holloway Bay, Brighton: daylight tide-times high-7.54am(.8m)low- 1.32pm(.38m)
Tuesdays Tide 02
“You can’t always get what you want,
But if you try sometime you just might find,
You get what you need.”
Rolling Stones, 1969
“There will be plenty of food for everyone;
you might not be able to get what you want but
you will be able to get what you need.”
Daniel Andrews on grocery supply lines August 2020.
“God made all people prisoners, so he can show mercy to all.”
Whether he knew it or not, possibly without meaning to, Daniel Andrews last week invoked none other than the Rolling Stones when talking about grocery supply lines during stage 4 lockdown:
“There will be plenty of food for everyone”, he assured, “you might not be able to get what you want but you will be able to get what you need.”
Interesting, how catchphrases from songs, poems and even ancient scriptures become common parlance, often at a crisis time.
Of course, feeding a city during lockdown is a serious business and I am sure neither Mr Andrews nor I would like to undermine the importance of that task by linking a rock song with the battle for survival that we are in.
However the distinction between needs and wants is not tangential to our situation – and to how we face life.
I suspect that differentiating between our ‘wants’ and our ‘needs’ is a hard one for many, and almost unheard of in our time.
‘My want is my need’, is how many will assume a normal life to be.
In truth, our needs as humans are not insignificant although they are pretty simple, and the thing we probably really want and need now is far more basic than we realise:
in our current situation it is safe air to breathe, freedom to walk and talk together, the ability to share food and spend time with one another and, for it not kill people.
These are unpurchaseable human desires, except in these days we are ‘buying’ them through dint of sacrifice of our lifestyle – which is hard in a society where ‘lifestyle choice’ is seen as a basic need.
How else can we explain how the Saturday Australian newspaper, for instance, continues with a large ‘Indulgence and Travel’ lift-out section – including, recently, advertising cruises to New Guinea, where the Covid -19 virus has just turned up in what could be a nightmare scenario of mass illness across a nation bereft of facilities to cope with a pandemic.
Some travel, some indulgence!
Here’s the thing, so much has changed. Who would have thought that twenty years into a new millennium we would be facing a global pandemic of unparalleled proportions unknown to any person living on the planet?
We entered a new millennium, a new century, with great pronouncements about eradicating disease and poverty, stopping famines, and ending wars. Instead we got 9/11, international terrorism, Gulf wars, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
This, unfortunately, we could have guessed.
But not many of us imagined a pandemic that would include even us.
Ever since colonial settlement the non-indigenous population of Australia thought living in an island nation would protect us from the worst of the world’s problems. The fact that oceans and seas have not saved us is testament to globalisation: we get the bad with the good.
Our needs and wants now have an international dimension. It’s not so simple any more as to just getting what we want…it often comes via someone else’s need, from a long way away.
‘We’re all in this together’ means a lot more than we first imagine.
When Paul wrote to believers in Rome, that “all people are prisoners” he was also probably saying more than he meant.
He was talking about the relationship between Jews and Gentiles and Christ under God.
But, expanding the idea that all people are prisoners of their ways – their lifestyles, desires, cultures, endless wants – often outside the ways of the Holy has a point.
But, Paul would not stop at the negative, he goes on: “there is mercy on all.” All!
Irrespective of every person’s needs and wants: all unsorted, all pretty confused between desires and necessities, fears and obligations, wanting power, seeking advantage, living by rat-cunning to survive – at base, with God, “there is the mercy on all.”
Maybe the outstanding question is, ‘Is God’s “mercy on all” a thing I want or need?’ If I don’t want it, what am I saying about others, and if it’s not something I need, what am I saying saying about myself?
Questions not tangential to how I live on a pandemic planet, in something as everyday as facing supermarket supply lines.