Outlook Issue 22 Winter 2016
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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From the Rector
He rode upon the cherubims, and did fly: he came flying upon the wings of the wind. The Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 18, v.10 Cruising at around 49,000ft, at a speed of about 600 mph and with over 550 passengers, a new Airbus A380 flew through the sky with comfort and with ease. This was an experience not easily forgotten. I had not anticipated the thrill and the lack of nerves. I felt safe, secure and confident of my destination in Dubai. As I write, I have only been home for a few weeks after visiting friends who are living and working there. I had a fabulous time and I am grateful to my friends for their generosity and hospitality. But I am haunted by the memory of the flight path. The A380, perhaps in common with other aircraft, allows the passenger to interact with flight data on a screen in the headrest of the person in front. I was fascinated by the continual minor fluctuations in height and speed, while feeling nothing of the effect in the cabin. Cameras underneath the aircraft gave a distant view of the terrain below. Some five hours into the flight they revealed sand, desert and hills. I looked in front of me at the flight path. We were in the Middle East and I suddenly felt uncomfortable with my own comfort, as I realised what could be happening below: civil unrest, terrorism, suffering and pain. I think we often live our lives on two levels. The public, work and even family face can ride high, seemingly with comfort and ease. But underneath we might be facing an internal unrest, and a kind of emotional or psychological terrorism where there is much hurt to deal with. My flight left me feeling a little bit guilty. What can I do to help? I can of course give generously to those charities looking for support to make easier the lives of the oppressed, in whatever form. But as a Christian I know that the Christmas story, whether understood as historical truth or myth, challenges me to try and work out if the God I believe to be true can enable me to address the issue and go some way to alleviating the pain of those in distress. If God exists, and is prepared to enter fully into our lives through and in the birth of Jesus, then I must engage with the story and find the right motivation to support those whose lives both above and underneath ground are miserable. I wish you a very happy Christmas, and I hope it brings the hope you might be looking for. Kevan S McCormack