With great power comes great responsibility

Published: September 26, 2014

rachelSince the referendum on independence last week in Scotland, I have heard lots of talk in the media, and from our politicians, about power.  Where power should reside and who should hold it.  For now, independence for Scotland is not going to happen but there is talk of further devolution of power, to Scottish, to Welsh, to English, and to regional, governments.

Am I alone in worrying about the emphasis on power and who holds it?  When we look at the world at the moment, we see too many cases of power being wielded in parts of the world in a most unhealthy and dangerous manner by individuals or minority groups.

Perhaps we would do well to ponder once again the words of Uncle Ben in the first Spiderman movie when he tells his nephew ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.   All of us, politicians or not, hold some power over others.  How should we use it and what is our responsibility?

This morning I read the obituary in the Church Times of The Revd Dr Ian Paisley who died a couple of weeks ago.  However we feel about him and his politics, he was a man, who certainly in latter years changed the way he viewed power.  The Church Times (19th Sept 2014) states ‘by 2007, Paisley was ready for the unthinkable: a sharing of power as First Minister in a new Northern Ireland Assembly with Sinn Fein’.  Sharing power, which meant compromise and generosity, for the sake of peace and reconciliation and a new future.  It was incredibly moving to read the tribute paid to Ian Paisley by his former enemy, now friend, Martin McGuinness.

With great power comes great responsibility.  What power do we hold and what are our responsibilities?

The Revd Rachel Rosborough, Rector of Bourton on the Water with Clapton & the Rissingtons

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