Pause for Thought May 2015

I’m very sorry to bring this up, but there is a General Election about to take place. You may not have realised, so I just thought I’d mention it. I have been reading a book recently called “On Rock or Sand?” which a collection of essays, edited by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. In it, various people discuss what sort of foundations should be laid for Britain’s future. The book came out at the beginning of this year, deliberately so, in the run up to the election. One key idea comes from an ancient Greek word used by John Chrysostom in the fourth Century when commenting on one of the New Testament letters. The word is Eudiamonia for which there is no satisfactory equivalent in English, but things such as ‘the common good’, ‘flourishing’, ‘blessedness’ convey something of its meaning.

As we consider who to vote for, as the manifestos are rolled out and the media becomes saturated with coverage, we would do well to think beyond ourselves and ‘what is in this for me’. What about considering the common good, the things that would help the poor and vulnerable flourish, policies which would lay a firm foundation for common profit in its broadest sense?

“Pause for Thought” this month comes from Rev Dave Maylor
Rector of Barnack with Ufford and Bainton
Telephone: 01780 740234

Foundations are important, not just for a nation or community, but also an individual. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus concludes by saying we have a choice. We can hear his teaching and then put it into practice or we can choose not to put it into practice, not to live by his teaching. The former he compares to a wise builder, building on rock so that the house he has built will survive any storm. The latter he compares to a foolish builder who builds on sand. That house collapses in the storm.

There is a choice on May 7th about who to vote for. I hope we can use the concept of Eudiamonia, the common good, in our minds as we choose who to vote for.
In life there is also a choice – to build our lives on the firm foundations of Jesus’ teachings, or to build on sand. The house may look the same, but the difference may be seen dramatically when a storm comes. I don’t want Jesus comparing me to somebody who was foolish.
Rev Dave Maylor