Wednesday 4 May 2011

May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings

May Day stands not simply as an historical record, something that belongs in the 'People's History Museum' but as a living reminder when we look at its celebration throughout the world, that like the fertile early summer ready to burst into life, we might see that yes, another world is possible, in spite of all the setbacks and disappointments because we live in a world that is crying out for justice, for food and medicine, for peace and love and compassion. And these two words: love and compassion, they're words we rarely if ever hear a politician use because we live in a world, if the newspapers and television are anything to go by, that is dominated by violence, alienation and division, it's literally a hell on earth for millions of people who share this planet with us.

But fundamentally my view of human nature, is that, everybody regardless of class, race or gender wants and needs  the same things: to be loved, to feel accepted and to feel secure. We should know this is so because when a child, a baby, comes into this world, helpless and vulnerable it is created as a human being, to receive and to give love and not to be subject to hate, and suspicion, or to be exploited or to exploit others, along with all the other alienating mores and ideologies of this mad world we've all created. This cannot be what being fully human is about.

Ultimately we cannot change the world by using, teargas, prisons, bombs and guns. We have to convince people by demonstrating our own belief in the power of love, through this God of love who is both within us and at the centre of all creation. There is no alternative to that.

In the end we have no choice but to put aside the things that hold us back if we truly want to see the revolution implicit in the May Day promise that another world is possible, so that we too can be with Jesus who declared at Nazareth that:

The spirit of the Lord is upon me,
For he has anointed me;
To preach good news to the poor he has sent me: 
To proclaim for the captives release
and to the blind sight;
To send forth the oppressed in release:
 To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

This radical inclusive message were the words of a man who exhorted his listeners to embrace the spiritual life, "be ye therefore perfect, he said, "as your father in heaven is perfect." In other words, the life of the spirit is for anyone who seeks it, for say neither lo here! Or lo there! For behold the kingdom of God is within you. The gospel story, the death and the resurrection becomes a paradigm for the spiritual life and the spiritual life turned inside out, love in action, can change the world.

My favourite colour is red; I love that blaze of red flags that one can see on a good May Day demonstration:

The people's flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead
And ere their limbs grow stiff and cold
Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

So goes the song and the words to 'The Red Flag'

And here again is the same sentiment taken from that famous hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross:

His dying crimson like a robe,
Spreads oe'r his body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe
And all the globe is dead to me

Were the whole realm of nature mine;
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul, my life my all.

May Day Greetings!

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