This year’s Lent talks follow the Lectionary readings for the five Sundays of Lent. They will examine our social, political and economic crises and relate them all to a crisis of morale that follows from our uncertainty about the covenant of God. The first talk starts like this:
What the Church says it not only says in Lent and Easter, but in every Church service. Easter simply spells out in large format what is going on every Sunday morning, when on behalf of the whole world the Christian community confesses its sins and receive forgiveness, and so remains a confident people. The Church that is confident of the resurrection is uniquely able to talk about pain and cost, because it is formed by the promise of forgiveness and the hope of redemption.
It continues like this:
We are undergoing a severe economic crisis. What is causing this crisis? Greed is of course some part of the answer but the problem is not only that we have demanded too much, but that we have not demanded enough. We do not value ourselves enough, and all our materialistic impatience and over-reaching is nothing but compensation for this crisis of morale, a failure to value ourselves. We belittle and devalue ourselves in the fear that if we donít others will denigrate us more. But we denigrate ourselves in defiance of God. God is the true judge of man, and God finds man good and loves him. That is the news of the gospel.
and ends like this:
It is good that creation has limits. It is good that we explore and discover these limits. To burn our way through creation is absolutely impoverishing for us. It gives us no opportunity for moral growth. It does not teach us to husband these resources or to wonder at this creation and care for it. It is only because it is a finite world that we have to learn how to act within it. It is only when we exercise self-restraint that we can act generously and for other people. And it is only the opportunity of acting well and generously, that there is the joy which is the whole point and purpose of creation.