Pause for Thought – a five minute read – 1

Read Matthew 5 v 1 – 12

I suppose I grew up in an era of old fashioned hero worship. People like; John
Wayne, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas and a bit later, Steve McQueen and Sean
Connery.

They all seemed to have the same persona, most of them were physically big
(well-built my mum would say broad shoulders), and had an imposing
presence. They even had their own strange walk, – remember John Wayne? If
he was portraying a cowboy, army officer or oil engineer out to save the world
from disaster, he still had the same strange walk.

In sport it was Sterling Moss, Stanley Matthews, the 1966 World Cup Football
squad, and the likes of Roger Bannister. Their achievements may have been
overshadowed in modern times, but at the time with what they had at their
disposal, (Compere football boots from 1966 to those of today), they excelled
and they were famous.

In politics it was people of power, with a finger on the atomic bomb button,
John Kennedy, (yes I do remember where I was when he was assinated), Nikita
Khrushchev and the cold war, rulers of powerful nations with the potential to
bring the world to end with the push of a button.

Yes, after over 70 years I can still remember their names and the events that
made them famous.

Almost all of my childhood heroes are no longer with us but they have been
replaced with modern day replicas, we still have the rich and famous, the
powerful and influential, those who have the persona to attract millions of hits
on the internet and social media. Fame and fortune seem to the most envied,
sort after and encouraged aspect of our society.

Jesus constantly challenged the concepts of the society that surrounded him at
that time, the Pharisees, the Romans, the Tax collectors, the rich and wealthy, and there are many examples of Jesus saying; ‘to follow me first give up all you
possess.’

Matthew 5 v 1 – 12 lays down a blueprint for a way of life. It gives instructions
on how members of the society of Christ should prioritise their life and find
true happiness. Reading it we notice the absence of material wealth, physical
presence, political power, or the ability to influence or manipulate others.

In the society that has Christ at its centre there is power in love, caring for
others, humbling oneself and self-sacrifice, those are the qualities of true
heroes.

In the past few weeks we have witnessed true heroes, not in the rich and
famous, or those with military might, but in the nursing staff who risk their
lives every day to treat those with the virus, in the doctors, some who have
lost their lives, in the volunteers who have come forward to help in the NHS, in
the neighbourhood groups who have come together to care for the elderly and
infirm, in the thousands of helpers and carers who simply telephone or call on
vulnerable people who live alone or at risk, and the amazing thing is; – you
probably will never know their names.

Blessed are they who are humble they will receive what God has promised.

Amen.

Derek T.

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