Queen's counsel XXI

May 2003

The main taught module during the spring term at Queens was "Creation, New Creation and Christian Ethics". In Easter-tide, we relive those early days of the Church at the dawn of a new age [new creation] linking heaven to earth and struggling still to find peace through justice on earth. The Messiah was supposed to sort all that out, wasn't he?

During our exploration of Christian Ethics, we were invited [required] to present some relevant topic to our colleagues; I chose to speak about Fair Trade, quite by chance within Fair Trade Fortnight, and that led me to read a little about the Market Economy and to reflect on the state of our world. The alternative Command Economy, owned by all and led from the centre according to the Communist ideal, collapsed dramatically in Europe during 1989 in favour of paying greater attention to market forces.

9/11 followed in 2001 with its attacks on the Twin Towers representing world trade, the Pentagon representing the defence of our First World and, although it was heroically averted, the White House representing the world's sole surviving superpower and its political centre. Many writers are now referring to this event as a turning point in history. With instant communication and a global economy, our future on earth can be redeemed only through living and working together alongside people of other cultures, faiths and traditions. Justice in trade, respect for alternative perspectives and concern for both people and the natural world are all vital, ethical ingredients for the world's future maturity.

The continuing turmoil in the Middle East and the surrounding area, the "cradle of civilisation" as it is often called, needs much effort to resolve. St.Paul says: "for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ." [1.Cor.15:22]. That is, in the created order, there is much that can go wrong, but in the new creation, as Christ has shown, we have the means to sort things out as we listen obediently to the Holy Spirit who "will guide [us] into all the truth" [John 16:13]. Our occasional Iona Worship on Sunday evenings at St.Nicholas opens with words that remind us of this responsibility and that we do nothing alone:

The world belongs to God
           the earth and all its people
How good it is, how wonderful,
           to live together in unity
Love and faith come together
           justice and peace join hands
If Christ's disciples keep silent
           these stones would shout aloud.



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This page was last updated on 2003-03-26


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