The Sixth Day Of Christmas - Directions For The Coming Year ? Mentors, Monarchy And Meaning For Our


December 31 is New Year?s Eve in western and other lands, a long day in which to seek God?s direction for the coming year and usher it in; a day to ring out the old, the false, and ring in the new, unfolding plan of God. Tonight we shall gather in a watch night vigil in The Open Gate Chapel on Holy Island. I share with you some directions that have been put on my heart.

In our global village our various peoples are adrift, aimless, hedonistic - an orphaned generation. That is the seed-bed for disintegration and violence. Each country needs faithful carers who strive for the good of people in every walk of life. The Bible calls these people shepherds ? those who feed and protect their sheep. But most people have never seen a sheep. The prophet Isaiah glimpsed a time when national and local leaders would be like parents to their people, humbly honouring, serving, challenging and mentoring them as they waited on God (Isaiah 49:23).

In the UK the recent TV series on Monarchy by the historian David Starkey showed how monarchy served the people well when it connected with real needs. A century back the UK royal family connected with and supported a) the class that formed the leaders - the aristocracy; b) the poor, through patronage of charities c) the multi-national family of peoples joined together in the British Empire. Now, all these three groups have dissipated: anyone can rise to the top, the Government runs welfare, most Commonwealth countries are republics. But who has taken over the Monarchy?s ?shepherd? role? The State? The State does not love individuals. Businesses ? even the national services such as health and education are run as if they are businesses?. The media, politicians, the professions are in the pocket of people with money. People in hoc to Money cannot be shepherds Starkey thinks that Prince Charles, as King, could redeem charitable care and make it a nation-wide engine of care, art and enterprise without strings. He suggests that there be a publicly acknowledged role for cultivating the things of the spirit ? in the widest sense, and that monarchy could take on this role. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, affirms that Charles could be an excellent defender of all faiths and minority groups who seek the good of the community by virtue of the fact that he would be symbolic Governor (i.e. Protector, not leader) of the Church of England, whose Faith requires respect for all.

This could, indeed, be a needed and inspiring role for monarchy in UK. But every land, and every level of society, needs such people. In Harry Potter?s ?Hogworts? Dementors are those who drag people down by feeding their inner demons. We need the opposite, Mentors. Mentors are leaders who:

Seek the best for each person without fear or favouritism

Come alongside and enable those who who lack encouragement

Foster education, talent, creative art and science, and the things of the spirit.

In ancient Israel such people, whether they were kinown as shepherds, foster parents or prophets, were not appointed but they were recgonised. I believe God is calling into being such people in our lands.. The Community of Aidan and Hilda will, please God, in a most humble way, seek to play a part in fostering 2008.

Posted at 01:35am on 31st December 2007
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