Pause for Thought – a five minute read – 27

Mark 7 v 1 – 8

I came across an advertisement recently for an exhibition at a museum. It attempted to encourage parents to bring their children to the museum so that they (the children) could learn about the past in order to move into the future. I fully support this principle but I also think that some museums should issue an emotional hazard warning for persons who fall into the recent definition of ‘vulnerable’ category.

Let me give you an example, last year I visited a museum exhibition on the history of children’s television. It was brilliant but the oldest exhibits were the programmes that I watched as a lad on a black and white television in my neighbour’s house. Do you remember Muffin the Mule?

Similarly I recently visited a National Trust venue where they had an exhibition on the history of Fashion throughout the ages. We came to the 1950/60 era and the display included a blue, Italian pin striped suit with drain pipe trousers and black velvet collar, a pink shirt with a boot lace tie. A group of children were laughing at the style; – I had one just like it. I wore it with pride on a Saturday night at the Majestic Ballroom in Bradford, and with the winkle picker shoes I thought that I looked great.

But it doesn’t stop there; take a look at the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury. Once again some of the oldest exhibits are the same as those that I had when I was young, like the money box in the shape of a man’s head wearing a Fez. When you put a penny (old one) on his hand he lifts to his mouth and swallows it.

It was years before I realised that you could retrieve the money from the back of the box.

Even more modern examples can be embarrassing, when I go to tractor rallies and classic car meetings half of the vintage cars on display, I have owned at some point in my life, and yet there are youngsters polishing away at what they consider to be an antiques.

However I was fascinated recently when I visited the workshops of a transport renovation group on the outskirts of Nottingham. They restored vintage buses, Trent Barton coaches, trams and Trolley buses.

I can remember riding on trolley buses in Bradford. Powered by electricity with two arms on the roof that reached up to cables overhead. They were quiet, comfortable, environmentally friendly, pollution free and efficient, so why did they dispense with them for diesel engines?

I do recall that on occasions the arms came off the overhead cables and the driver or conductor had to get off the bus and use a long pole (stored under the bus) to hook each arm and reposition it back onto the cable. As a lad this was very exciting and well worth the 2 or 3 pence bus fare.

They also had long advertisements along the side of the bus which for a very young lad was confusing as I thought they sold the product on the bus. Later in life this brought my dad to say ‘just because it says Bisto on Bradford buses is doesn’t mean to say they sell it. ‘

I must admit when at a museum, I’m particularly pleased to see how the medical profession has moved on, the old instruments from the past look terrifying.

(Mark 7 v 1-8) Jesus warned about using the laws and traditions of the past in place of the Word of God. The Pharisees and Scribes had interwoven their own laws into the Jewish Law and imposed them onto the Jewish people. One such law was known as ‘corban’ which enabled the Jewish leaders to avoid their responsibilities towards their parents and widows simply by saying that all their wealth and goods were dedicated to God, but were actually retained in their possession.

(Mark 7 v 5) When the disciples were accused of breaking the Jewish Law because they had not ritually washed their hands before eating, Jesus retaliated by accusing the Pharisee as being hypocrites, and pointing them to the words of Isaiah; – they profess great devotion to the Lord, but inwardly they were corrupt. They pretended to worship God but they substituted their traditions for the doctrines of the Bible, for their own benefit.

The Jewish people justifiably expected honesty, compassion, and righteousness from their Jewish Leaders, but they got corruption, dishonesty and self-importance.

What did my dad say?

‘It says Bisto on Bradford buses but they don’t sell it’

Derek T.