Super Gordon Saves the World


So Super Gordon has "saved the world". Has ever a slip of the tongue been so swiftly and cruelly pounced on? Instead of saying that his government had "saved the banks and led the world" on tackling the downturn, Gordon Brown managed to leave out a few words leading to howls of derision from the House of Commons and the accusation from David Cameron that he was "so busy talking about saving the world, he's forgotten about the businesses in the country that he's supposed to be governing."
A great soundbite… But a colleague of mine, who is generally relatively apolitical in his posts, rightly pointed out in a letter to Mr Cameron that “saving the world” is not such a bad aspiration, and that whilst we should look out for the disadvantaged in the UK, we must also remember those who are infinitely poorer throughout the developing world.
But whilst I will never cease to advocate and work for social justice at home and abroad, believing that it is integral to the gospel, at this time of year we remember that economic, political or even environmental initiatives will never fully "save the world"… As Jesus himself said “The poor we will have with us always.” He didn’t say that to suggest that trying to help them was pointless, but was simply stating a stark reality.
Ultimately salvation for the world does not come through a politician… be it Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Barack Obama… But through a baby born in Bethlehem… Born to share in our sorrows… The ups and downs of human existence… And follow a path that did not seek salvation through self-serving political agendas or military campaigning or pursuing popular acclaim, but through sacrificial service…
Plenty of people wanted Jesus to become King in the established sense and govern them in place of the Romans, saving the nation of Israel and leading it to its rightful place as chief of nations, but instead he chose the way of the suffering servant… thus saving the world.
And that choice still lies before us... Which way will we choose to pursue: the pathway to power and authority in worldly terms or the way of sacrificial service? A way that leads not just to Bethlehem, but to Nazareth and beyond...

This post was originally broadcast on Downtown Radio's "Dawn Reflections" as their Review of the Week on Sunday 14th December.

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