On one hand, people in modern western society talk a LOT about............

Team Rector’s Letter                                   August 2019

Identity is a curious thing

On one hand, people in modern western society talk a LOT about ‘being true to myself’, ‘being my own person’, ‘getting in touch with my true feelings’... It’s all about self-discovery. Individualism.  My style, my way...


And yet, on the other hand, many people slavishly follow the herd instinct of social media, where everyone is meant to be excited about the same things, and follow the latest ‘trend’. There is a constant need to be affirmed by others, demonstrated by the fact that someone ‘Likes’ what you have posted on-line. There is same overwhelming need to look good, never to appear in the same outfit twice, and to appear to be having a wonderful, amazing, brilliant life. We present a Life-style to the world hoping to be envied for what we are doing and what fun we are having,


All this creates pressure on people to keep up appearances, and it feeds a sense of inadequacy. There is now huge compulsion for young people to be perfect in all areas of life – education, work, looks and relationships – and to present that perfect image on social media. If you’re not following the latest ‘trending’ box-set, you won’t be able to join in the conversations at work tomorrow morning. If you’re not interested, you’re going to get left on the sidelines.

No wonder we’re all feeling tired!


And then there is our increasingly confused national identity.

We seem to have lost our way here too. We seem to be in danger of becoming a divided and angry nation, and are trapped into an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality, unsure of who we really are and what we really need.


In the Bible, in the Second Letter to the church at Corinth, the writer, whose name was Paul, showed how Christians have a God-given ‘Ministry of Reconciliation’, entrusted to us by a loving and reconciling God. It’s about bringing together differences, not creating uniformity.


So how do we exercise this Ministry of Reconciliation in our everyday lives?


It really isn’t that complicated! We can refuse to engage in divisive discussions on social media, or to pass scathing comments about others. We can always seek to understand opposing viewpoints and be respectful even if other people’s opinions differ from our own. We can be careful about offering more ‘Thank You’s’ than carping criticisms. We can value the contributions of each person for the common good. In this way we can be bringing people together, building each other up, knowing that we are All One in Christ Jesus.

Reverend Ren Harding (Team Rector)

contact me at Joydens Wood Vicarage,

6 Tile Kiln Lane, Joydens Wood, Bexley, DA5 2BB  

01322-528923                         renharding@hotmail.co.uk

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