Another day has drawn to a close at the General Assembly and what a day it has been. Starting with the Communion service was spiritually uplifting and challenging to exploring issues that often seem a million miles away from parish life yet are also on our doorsteps. To sing accappella was mind blowing and the Spirit danced and loved.
Anyway to the title of my reflection. There was much on the agenda today for it was the turn of Church and Society. However money formed a major element of the day for me. Housing and Loan and the special commission on economics plus the living wage and credit unions all featured heavily. We spoke long and hard about the issues of poverty and economics and the multi layered problems and concerns that come from this. The question was posed (asked originally by someone famous!) why should a Christian want more than another Christian? A challenging question really. We were encouraged to want to share generously and not build up wealth for ourselves whilst other struggle.
I then had to balance all this alongside the fact that Jessica turns 3 tomorrow and I passed people begging on the streets of Edinburgh as I went to spend far too much money on her (and I know I spend less on my children than some). As I reflect on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have the money to spend as I like, I am challenged by the facts presented that for many money is short and the basics are luxuries. How can we embrace the great words, the great thinking, and share the wealth we have not because we have to but because we want too?
There are no easy answers but if the church is to be counter cultural as some like to say, then one of the most powerful places in society to be counter cultural is with money. Money might make the world go round but love is what hold the world together. The challenge facing the average church in the average parish is to bind the two together.
Love your neighbour as you love yourself.