Viewpoint by Rev. Andy Giles, Resource Church Curate at St Dionysius Church
Tuesday March 23 marks a national day of reflection, to enable us to remember that over 125,000 people have died during the pandemic. The head of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens said: “We need to mourn those we’ve lost, and mark the service and sacrifice of staff throughout the NHS. It’s also a moment to acknowledge how in adversity we saw strength, as friends, neighbours and communities have come together to help each other through the nation’s worst ordeal since the Second World War.”
In Harborough we have seen communities come together to help neighbours, strangers, vulnerable people and those in need. People have financially supported others who have struggled when they lost jobs and have been desperate. The pandemic is not over. People are still giving their time, finances and love to this town and places like the Jubilee Foodbank continue to support people with food in times of need.
Seeing the generosity of people reminds me of the author Stephen King who recalls lying in a ditch alone some years ago after being involved in a terrible car accident. He said: “I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you’re lying in a ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard. We come in to this world naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we’re just as broke. All you have is on loan. All that lasts is what you pass on.”
Jesus taught a lot about our use of money and possessions, and here Stephen King, who as far as I know is not a follower of Christ, captures so much of Jesus’ teaching.
By giving away money and time we invest in people and communities. Such investment reaps valuable interest, by increasing the general well-being of our community from which we all benefit. Jesus also teaches us that, as we give out of our love for God and compassion for others, we invest in eternity and store up for ourselves treasure in heaven.
We can’t take our bank savings into heaven with us! Christians want to see God’s Kingdom of justice, peace and well-being built here on earth. Corrie ten Boom, the Christian who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for helping persecuted Jews, wrote: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
For some of us it’s not easy being generous. We’re loath to spare our time or cash. So sometimes we must ask God to release our generosity so we can be effective in loving and serving people in our community. Especially as Easter approaches when we remember Jesus, who was ‘rich beyond all splendour, all for love’s sake becamest poor’.
By Rev. Andy Giles, Resource Church Curate at St Dionysius Church