4th October 2021

The 1st complete English-language Bible, the “Matthew Bible” is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale. The Orient Express departs on its first official journey from Paris to Istanbul. The 1st escalator installed on the London Underground at Earl’s Court Station. World Council of Churches forms. China announced a hydrogen bomb was recently tested in the Western region of the Chinese mainland and the country had completed its first underground nuclear explosion. Janis Joplin, is found dead caused by an overdose of heroin. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty is opened for signature. WikiLeaks is launched. What a range of events have occurred on just one day in the calendar of a year over many centuries. Seemingly random events that in one way or another demonstrate both the ambitions of humanity and the despair.

Of course, this is only a snap shot but I couldn’t help stopping to think about the strangeness of human beings. On the one hand, full of invention, pushing at boundaries, creativity and striving for excellence. On the other, self-destructive to the point of annihilation. We create organisations to build a sense of common purpose, peace, and also organisations to critique, challenge and fight against abuses of power, whilst others seem hell bent on greed and self-interest. 

It reminds me of Ecclesiastes, ‘a time to build up and a time to tear down, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to mourn and a time to dance’. God has put a sense of past and future in our minds says the writer. If only we could see what God is doing from beginning to end? One day…

Rachel Haig