Jersey remembers each year the day of the Island’s final liberation after five years of occupation by the armed forces of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. And (see above) in AD 33, four key followers of Jesus were looking, with him, across a valley to the city of Jerusalem, occupied as it had been for the past 70 years by the Roman armed forces. They were talking about the power demonstrated in the magnificent buildings there.
Jerusalem weren’t liberated. We are.Or are we? Look at what Jesus said to them. Wars (plural) are inevitable; so are “rumours” (threats?) of wars; nation will rise against nation; kingdom against kingdom. Jersey?
Ten years ago the British Government imposed on Jersey the “Edwards Review” of all aspects of the Island’s facilities for financial services clients. Was Jersey, asked the UK, doing things that were against the UK’s best interests? Or against the best interests of Europe? Were there things that Jersey must be made to change?
A few months ago, the UK Government announced a further review of Jersey along similar lines – to be undertaken by Mr Michael Foot because of concerns expressed by the OECD, the EU and US President Barack Obama.
No, Jersey is not “liberated” from national, supra-national and international pressure – and fighting. Pressure from those who believe we are damaging to them – or might become damaging to them. Nor from internal fighting.
At Tell Sabi Abyad in Syria large buildings have been found dating to 6000 BC. Each was divided into many small rooms; some contained stone seals and over 300 clay seals – small lumps of clay with a string attached and used to seal containers or rooms – were found. Yes, locks – protection from others. A quick count of locks in one house in Jersey came up with a total approaching 100. Why - in a “liberated” Island?
Well...... to protect us from each other, of course. No-one can be free from my envy, my desire to get what you have, what you own. And it’s not only what you have that I want – I want authority over you as well. I don’t want you to damage me. So I’ll do “whatever is necessary” (shades of Gordon Brown and others) to get the best for me.
Hence – wars and threatened wars. Actually, as Jesus says – repeated wars because, no sooner does one liberate oneself from one “enemy” another rises up with desires over me. And larger “locks” are necessary.
The forecasted earthquakes and famines (see above) strengthen our inner, perhaps unnoticed, desires for whatever will give us security if something like that should happen to us. After all, I must live.
But look at Jesus’ final sentence in bold above. “These are but the beginning of birth pains.” Birth pains? This incessant conflict – with tangible and intangible (including economic) weapons of war? Birth pains? What (on earth) is being born, being brought about by these awful things?
Two things should be born in us. First, a realisation that desire is the true abhorrence. Desire for supremacy and assets and locks that maintain my wealth are the root cause of continuing conflict.
Second, a realisation that repeated “liberations” from new enemies will be un-necessary if a new me is born – a me changed from the inside. The new born me will be like Jesus of Nazareth who was willing to be – and was - defeated (betrayed, tortured, mocked and killed) by his enemies so that those enemies could be re-born and, in turn, follow him into real life, real liberation. The kingdom of God is a war free, lock free society - forever.