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Dear Friends

During the recent US election campaign a comedian came up with a new word: 'truthyness'. It means a simplistic, often prejudiced, one dimensional viewpoint then given credibility by a charismatic politician or media outlet. For example:’there are Chinese imports everywhere, our factories have shut, the Chinese are to blame, impose large tariffs on Chinese imports, our factories will reopen, problem solve’.

Truthyness: the name is new, but is has long been a feature of political discourse. Hitler and the Nazi propaganda machine were its masters. As I write, the US elections have just taken place and much of the press is full of angry truthyness concerning the judges’ judgement on the process of Brexit. What might God, the lover of Truth be saying to us about all of this???

In Advent we think of the all seeing light of Christ exposing our shallowness and deceit. Jesus’ Light reveals the challenging but liberating Truth of ourselves and our world. In Advent we listen again to the Old Testament, prophets and John the Baptist, speaking Truth to power. Their words speak directly into the issues we face today from global warming to refugees and conflict, to the growing gap between rich and poor. We are urged to be ready, for he is coming again to judge us all, the rich and powerful, the poor and powerless.

And then in Christmas and Epiphany we celebrate that God has speaks to us most fully in His Word becoming flesh. There was and is no 'truthyness' about Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. In him and how he lived, we lesrn how to live, how to communicate with each other, to honour each other, to search for Truth. He taught was through parables, stories that open us to the Truth, that acknowledge the unknowabilty of the whole Truth, yet draw us to searching thought and prayer, working together to hear Truth in our own day.

Whenever we hear politicians, read newspapers, watch t.v., listen to the radio… in humility let us be mindful that there is more to this issue than we or they might think or know. And finally, January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day, an awful reminder of what can be the cost of truthiness; ideas that offer simplistic remedies to our problems.

With love and prayers and many blessings for these forthcoming holy seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.

James
 

Some verses from Psalm 52 that speak of the danger and of words:

Why do you glory in evil, you tyrant,
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than the word of truth.

You love all words that hurt,
O you deceitful tongue.

Therefore God shall utterly bring you down;
he shall take you and pluck you out of your tent
and root you out of the land of the living.
 


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