Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday we had an extraordinary experience. It’s difficult to describe or convey without the danger of misunderstanding. The situation that the world finds itself in is pretty horrendous – in some countries more than others. But might it be that there could be something good and renewing that comes out of this? Might it be that the brakes have mercifully been put on some of the directions that humanity has been heading?
We have the privilege of being able to walk around one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many times we have marvelled at walking around the Sydney harbour area – it is one of the great wonders of the world. On Saturday we did a familiar walk – across the Harbour Bridge, down to Dawes point, along to Campbell’s Cove, then City Quay, the Opera House and then up through the Botanic gardens. It has become familiar but this time was different….have a look at this link below –
This is a slide show of some of the views en route.
Now I don’t post this to make you jealous – or to make you think that we live in some kind of paradise – but just because it helped me to think that there might be possibilities of great good to come out of this. Perhaps there could be a chance to reboot our cities. This photo below would not have been possible for me even a few months ago…
This is the quay where the giant cruise ships berth. But the cursed cruise ships which brought the worst cases of Covid 19 to Australia have now been driven out by that very same virus. And it’s wonderful! How ironic that the cruise ships which flock to Sydney to admire its beauty, end up despoiling that beauty. One good thing that has come out of this crisis is that the extra massive cruise ship berth which was due to be built has now been postponed indefinitely. I could add that there are other good things – the closure of casinos and clubs being two of the greatest! It was also lovely to be able to walk round CIty Quay with what appeared to be largely locals – with a few visitors. I know that tourism is important but there is surely a balance to be had? This applies across the world – the worst thing about the Isle of Skye for example is when it is swamped by tourists – Dubrovnik in Croatia is a nightmare because of the cruise ships.
Perhaps the Covid 19 crisis will lead us to look for a more balanced way of life and a more balanced economy – less reliance on China, immigrant labour and supply on demand 24/7? We can but hope. Balance is needed. We do need trade, tourism and international students. We don’t want our city streets to be like George St (on the left) yesterday. I miss the buzz and the bustle. But we also need locals to be able to live in and enjoy their own cities. We need manufacturing, clean air and cities to be for the poor – rather than just been destinations for the globalised jetsets and the metro elites.
In that regard – I thought this article in the Sydney Morning Heraldwas very thought provoking…
“There will be greater emphasis on individual building design and place design, including liveability concepts such as health and wellbeing, community living, use of internet technologies, precinct planning, gardens and outdoor space,”
The Church also needs to think about how we can genuinely seek the welfare of the city to which God has called us (Jeremiah 29:7). Who knows but that God may yet bring great good out of this evil?
See you next week,
Yours in Christ