A deep problem with the west today is that we appear to have lost our capacity to love others. We love things more than we love people. We love our own ideas more than we love people. We love our money, possessions and fame more than we love people.
We love the idea of freedom more than we love setting people free. We love gratifying our feelings of compassion more than actually doing something for those in need. We speak highly of the emancipation of women, but continue to imprison them in the distorted, contorted body images of the catwalk We love the idea of choice, but deny the unborn the right even to breathe. We love our freedom of speech, but are indifferent to the victims of pornography. We love our cherished, ever-so correct political stances, but are indifferent to the people whose lives are wrecked by them. We give to others as if we were scratching an itch, and not as if we are sharing of ourselves. We love to be thought well of. We love to be right. We love to know that others are wrong. We love to preserve our own world view, even at the cost of the freedom of others. We love our own comfort above all. Our happiness is our highest goal.
My thoughts today have been stirred by watching a preview of the film Amazing Grace, telling the life-long battle of William Wilberforce against slavery. He loved others enough to dedicate his life to countless millions of ones he would never see: human beings sold into slavery.
If you can get to see this film, do so. It is a story of one man's Christian convictions, and the cost and fruit of his decision to remain true to them. St Mary's indeed has a special interest in William Wilberforce, because it was William's nephew George who bought and donated the first piece of land to start St Mary's almost 150 years ago. St Mary's will be organizing a viewing at the end of July - if you are interesting, contact us via www.smac.org.au.