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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

21 December 2016: Rev'd Richard Saunders, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

A view of the world

I write this while recovering from an eye operation. A small hole had developed in the macula of one eye, the part in the centre of the retina that we need for detailed vision such as reading. The operation involved putting a gas bubble in the back of the eye to close up the hole and hold it while the natural healing process takes place. I’m told that the bubble will slowly diffuse and that I should then be able to read with that eye again. However, for the time being, when I look through the affected eye it’s as though I am swimming under water. It’s all a bit cloudy and out of focus to say the least.

So as well as a deeper and more personal gratitude for the NHS, the operation has given me, for the time being, two very different views of the world: one ‘normal’ one and one ‘under water’ one.
And that’s got me thinking about how we look at the world. Because we all have lenses through which we look at life. Different ways of seeing the world, of making sense of it. World views against which we weigh up new experiences and make decisions about how to live. The rational, scientific world view gives us a lot – including the technology which has made my eye operation possible. But I get even more from a view of life which is not incompatible with this but which says that there is more to life than simply what we can see and touch and measure.

For me the story of a baby in a manger with angels and shepherds in attendance, the story of a man who healed, who lived a life of love, who gave his life to rescue us and is still alive today speaks more powerfully than the materialist consumer fest of Christmas. For it says that the ultimate power in the universe is not money or a nuclear explosion but a God who loves us. It gives me hope that one day the many things that are wrong in our world will be put right and it gives me purpose, calling me to live like the amazing man who was born in a stable.

What’s your view of the world this Christmas?

The PACT Carol Service will take place in The Square at 7:00 pm on Thursday 22 December followed by tea, coffee and mince pies in St Peter's

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