So, what has been long predicted has come about at last: Britain joins the U.S.A. and several other countries in losing her AAA rating, leaving just Canada and Germany to revel in their reputation for unassailable financial soundness. Does it matter? It could affect borrowing costs, although the U.S.A. hasn’t found it doing so (AA1 is still a pretty good marker of financial reliability). The chief fall-out is political and I daresay we are in for a few days of ‘ya, boo and sucks’ from H.M. Opposition and some possibly cringe-making ‘explanations’ from H.M. Government.
Is there such a thing as a spiritual AAA rating? Some people certainly talk as though they had a hotline to God, but their spiritual credentials aren’t always what they imply. Look at their lives and, instead of holiness, one sometimes sees something that looks dangerously like selfishness or pride. Of course, the tests we apply are not necessarily those that God uses. We are often deceived by outward appearances while he looks at the heart, but even so, I think most of us would say we know a charlatan when we see one.
Tomorrow we shall be thinking about the Transfiguration of Jesus but today a glance in the mirror will tell us what needs to be transfigured in our own lives. We may not see a charlatan looking back at us, but most of us will recognize something that isn’t quite right, that falls short of a spiritual AAA. Lent is our opportunity to do something about it.