Clergy will find some collegiality with Sidney Chambers in James Runcie’s Grantchester Mysteries book series (and the two priests of the Grantchester television adaptation). The times are changing, the pastoral calling continues, and those in service of a parish call keep the faith, sometimes even despite themselves.
Neither Jesus nor Paul taught blind patriotism or a simple accommodation of the state’s or country’s actions. For both, the Kingdom of God is where our hearts reside and “our citizenship is in heaven.”
We know that saving one life does not save the world. But we have to start somewhere. And once you get started, you might be surprised at the chain reaction of actions that you spark in your community.
The end of the relevance of the church will not come at the hands of a pandemic, AI technology, or a particular party gaining power; no, it will come at our own doings. It will come when prophets stop speaking.
Keeping Sabbath runs counter to the ways of the world and the powers that be, but keeping Sabbath is a reflection and a reminder that we are not the pinnacle of creation. Rather, the enjoyment of God and God’s creation is.
Like the monarch butterflies, themselves facing the stresses and challenges of a changing world, we as a species need to embrace the radical art of transformation and migration that butterflies teach, because there’s a truth and a challenge that’s now as close as the air we breathe: in our climate-changed world, we cannot be done with our changes.