Thursday, 20 October 2011

What's your message?

Mainstream media outlets and commentators are complaining that the Occupy Movement has no message: "They don't know what they want", they cry. Of course this is not true and if there was a single simple change they'd probably be dismissed as naive and simplistic.

I wonder if the media in Jesus' time complained that he lacked a coherent message. Certainly 2,000 years later people are still unclear as to what exactly the Kingdom of God is about or where it is.

Jesus was interested in the questions, the parables, the dilemmas of his age and in presenting them to the 99% so that they could discover their own solutions.

Just before our last General Election I was invited, along with the other deacons, to a dinner at the Bishop's house. As we ate he casually turned to me and said, "So I hear you're telling people not to vote." This was a wonderful way to light the blue touch paper and watch the fireworks go off!

Among the comments and questions from those around the table I was asked what I would replace the current system with. I suppose I could have said a Swiss cantonement, a federation, Total localism, or any other thing that took power from the elite to the people. But I resisted that totalitarian urge within me. Because I know I don't have the answer.

The answer to the question 'If not this, what else?' lies in the space between I and Thou. It will emerge from our situations not from our text books. I don't want a blue print for a better world. I want to turn my mind to a parable, as the psalmist says. I don't want to be the answer but I want to be part of a generation that is willing to live the questions.

I also want corporations to stop buying politicians. ;-)