Matt Hardwick (matthardwick) wrote,
Matt Hardwick
matthardwick

Soundbite Technique

In recent weeks, we've seen some of Barack Obama's advisers and colleagues warning about the level of messianic expectation loaded on to the president-elect.

The gospel tells us something hard to hear – that there is not going to be a single charismatic leader or a dedicated political campaign or a war to end all wars that will bring the golden age…

There is a savior, born so that all may have life in abundance, a savior … hidden in the form of poverty and insecurity, a displaced person … whose authority does not come from popularity, problem-solving or anything else in the human world. He is the presence of the power of creation itself.

It is not the restoring of a golden age, not even a return to the Garden of Eden; it is more – a new creation, a new horizon for us all…

And our own following of the Word made flesh is what gives us the resources to be perennially suspicious of claims about the end of history or the coming of some other savior exercising some other sort of power. To follow him is to take the risks of working at these small and stubborn outposts of newness, taking our responsibility and authority.

We can't pass the buck to Caesar Augustus, Barack Obama or even Canterbury City Council – though we may pray for them all and hope that they will play their part in witnessing to new possibilities.



-- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, via Alexander Cockburn, "Against Saviors", December 26, 2008.
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