“The world has become a village” was the phrase a friend used just a couple of days ago in a book she had contributed to. She was referring to the impact of Covid 19 and how our lives (and deaths) are linked in a way they weren’t previously. The book came out in June and had not taken account of the way that vaccine roll out around the world is very uneven- some bits of the “village” are definitely better off than others! The phrase still rings true for me though and particularly in some of the lines from Amanda Gorman’s poem for President Biden’s inauguration.
Let me adapt some of them a little and replace the word nation with world. For example:
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a world that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
To compose a world committed to all cultures, colours, characters and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We shall not march back to what was, but move to what shall be, a world that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. So let us leave behind a world that is better than the one we were left with…we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our world, in every corner called our world, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.
The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
Inspiring and rousing words delivered with passion and clarity. And how much greater they resonate when we look beyond our national boundaries and fall in love once more with this beautiful and lonely green-blue planet that is our fragile and wonderful home and it’s magically diverse peoples.
Right now we are all linked by the Covid pandemic and the head of the WHO challenges the wealthier nations to rise to the moral and ethical challenge of ensuring a universal roll out. There is no doubt that none of us are safe until all of us are safe. But it has to be more than that. We need a common vision of what our world can be.
The bible offers us many rich images (including sitting under fig trees and vines as quoted on Wednesday) that evoke a just and equitable future when all God’s children lay aside conflict and live in peace. We need to take part in writing humanity’s long story in words and deeds drawing both from millennia of biblical tradition and the aspirations of a new generation finding their voice.
For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
Rev. Paul Watson