The Rise and Fall

Politics is never an easy path. For every person you please, you can bet your socks there’ll be a dozen you displease.

As we listen to the latest world news, we hear leaders of countries claiming victory over…er…um…it’s difficult to tell exactly what it is they feel victorious over – that their ‘side’ killed more women and children, or instilled more fear in the innocent, causing them to flee their homes? Well, whatever it is those leaders are saying, all I seem to hear is gloating and chiding.

Just imagine how the world would respond if those same leaders used an equal amount of energy and replaced their vitriolic attacks with words of healing and forgiveness! Sadly, such an idea sounds like mere fantasy. Sadly indeed!

Almost two-hundred years ago, a book entitled 'The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire' was written. Very few people could name its author, and even fewer people have read the book. However, I suspect many of us recognise the title and some may even be sympathetic with the idea it enshrines.

Among the mightiest of empires, most were not as powerful or extensive as the Roman Empire. The story of its rise and collapse could easily serve as a caveat for any world leader. Yet, sadly, history repeats itself almost like clockwork; they had their day in the sun and then they were no more. They overstretched themselves, and they became decadent with rot from the inside, until they either withered away or destroyed themselves.

There are many still living who grew up at a time when two thirds of the countries in our atlases were coloured pink to indicate they belonged to our own British Empire, on which we proudly claimed, the sun never set.

Those who wield power and those who shape public opinion should learn a lesson from history. As the prophet Micah reminded the leaders of his own nation many centuries ago, it’s the responsibility of the powerful ‘to act justly, to love loyalty, and to walk humbly with God.’ That can be the only basis upon which a world order can be built, which offers peace and security to all its people. Otherwise, a rise will be followed by a fall, as surely as night follows day.
Anglican Prayers

Our Father, we pray for the leaders of all nations and also for ourselves, that we may all act justly, love wholly, and walk humbly with You. In this way, help us to contribute this day to the well-being of our one world. Amen


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