So what was he then? - Thought for the Week 16 Feb

So what was he then?

The greatest Brit of the previous century. At least according to a large poll after the turn of the millennium. The outcome was that Sir Winston Churchill was the greatest historical British figure of the previous century. He was definitely a good war-time prime minister, a motivator, a leader and a brave man who had fought and wrote his way up the ranks along with a good dose of political acumen and ambitious determination. Despite his oratorical prowess and political powers his career did not end as supremely as he might have hoped and he was the last statesmen to experience the Empire at is apex. Her greatest hour had also coincided with the start of Britannia’s eventual demise.

And Alexander the Great, the greatest conqueror of his era, what was he?  A good fighter, an astute strategist, one who understood the psyche of most of his compatriots, an adventurer, an accomplished equestrian and possibly a passionate lover with grand dreams of an influential Hellenic legacy. Despite the surprising eventual fastness of the Empire and the intellectual advances of their culture, the Greek empire began to crumble after the death of Phillip’s son to diarrhoea.

Then what was he who managed to inaugurate the dawn of an awaited global Kingdom of sorts by his disappointing death on a rubbish dump. Was it that he was a miracle worker who dazzled the pheasants who cried Hosanna to their king on a donkey? Could it be that he changed hearts and minds through his words and stories as a teaching rabbi and that lit a light of insight? Maybe it was the revolution he started by seeing the unsightly and loving the unlovable that caused his larger than life love to be desired. Certainly his knack for raising hell amongst the pious and priestly went down like a hole in his heart and riled the mighty mightily. His words of impending doom and disaster that preceded and predicted the end of a self-important religious caste and system were certainly not welcomed by many. Surely he would have foreseen that he would be nailed for those prophetic word of his? Yet, to the widow whose son he raised and the free lover whose violent mob he stopped he was a real life saver. To the naked madman hiding in the cemetery and the leprous outcasts he brought dignity and hope, as he did to women everywhere ever since. And that was just the beginning. Billions have since been touched, moved, irritated, amazed and inspired by the boy who started life as a poor refugee fleeing from a frightened king.

Surely he is more than a mere mortal then, more than a moral man, more than a misguided man on a mission. Surely he must be God.

Rev Alan Childs



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