One of my first memories of the world outside my home and school was watching the fall of the Berlin Wall on TV in 1989.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and all its associated tyranny was a long time coming. One of the causes of that collapse was truth, or a lack of it, about how rotten the whole Soviet system was. The original revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky thought they were building a new healthy community, but instead ended up creating a tyranny and the truth of how badly things turned out was suppressed.
So when Australia Day came around, I was prompted to think about what makes a community healthy. Big employers, solid roads and lots of volunteers certainly help, but they’re not the magic pill that makes communities healthy.
Australia Day is all about a celebration of our community, so it’s worth asking, what makes our community healthy? Truth. Truth about our history, truth about what works and doesn’t work and truth about what the future should hold for us all.
This is what Jesus was getting at in the gospel of John when he said “The truth will set you free.” While Christians believe truth begins and ends with God, we all need truth to get along with each other and build a shared community that is healthy. As you go about your week, look out for the ways in which truth is the underlying glue of a healthy community, or how a lack of it causes problems. This is why I love that poem by John Donne, where he says “no person is an island unto themselves, but a part of the main.”
Rev Luke Isham, Horsham Presbyterian Church, on behalf of the Horsham Ministers Association.
Truth about our history, truth about what works and doesn’t work and truth about what the future should hold for us all.