Thought for the week 5th November – Blah, blah, blah

The teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, spoke before the current climate meeting about her fears, most notably that all we would hear would be “blah, blah, blah”; the sound of talking to mask the lack of any action. As a person who hates meetings, I have some sympathy with this view. One of the great advantages of the current fashion for meetings held by computer is that I can join, then switch my camera and microphone off and do something more productive, or at least more enjoyable, with my time. However, I am also aware that it is only by hearing others speak that I can begin to understand their views, to hear their arguments and perhaps see my own position in a new light. On a PCC, the most valuable comment is often “Yes vicar, but have you thought about….”. The Bible has accounts of what seem to be have been very lively meetings. Perhaps some of the best are where God seems to be having an argument with someone praying to him; not always getting the better of the exchange and so changing his mind. Words can be blah, blah blah if one, or all parties to a conversation do not listen to what is being said, but they also have immense power to transform if they are properly heard. That is the pattern we see in the Bible and perhaps is what we have also witnessed in Glasgow this week.