Imagine a world where the greatest power in it, the principle by which the world operated, was that of mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
Imagine a world where you called up your credit card company, said, “I’m sorry, I’ve overextended myself this month; and I can’t make my payment,” and the bank said, “Oh, that’s O.K., you’re forgiven. Don’t worry about it.”
Imagine a world where you make a huge mistake at work that cost your company thousands of pounds, and your boss simply said, “Never mind! These things happen. You’ll do better next time.”
Imagine a world where Philip Green takes a look at his finances, hands over three-quarters of his personal billions to his BHS employees, and says, “I’m retiring from this, but here, organise yourselves into a workers cooperative, do it your way, and succeed, with my blessing.”
Why do we laugh at such suggestions? Only because the world we live in, which has shaped our outlook on life, is a world which doesn’t operate on mercy, compassion and forgiveness, it operates on the cold, hard exchange of value, on the survival of the strongest. The business world is a ‘dog eat dog’ world.
What would it be like to live in a world which was run on merciful and compassionate lines?
Our calling as Christians is to be people who can imagine such a different world, and in the imagining, help bring this world into being.
Our faith is that the ‘dog eat dog’ way is not the only way, for we can see the way of mercy, compassion and forgiveness gently breaking in, like flowers through concrete. Our task is to tend these carefully so that they flourish and spread.
Our inspiration is Jesus of course, whose teachings about the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, whose parables, provoke and encourage such imaginings. ...