Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Thought for the Day

You might wish to check today's script against delivery because the story developed during the show so that even the corrections I scribbled on my script at 8.42 a.m. were rendered out of date by an interview immediately before delivery, leaving me ad-libbing to get more accuracy. BBC Radio Bristol keeps me on my toes from time to time:

A small, low carbon home, for one person is being built in Hillfields. They're called 'snug' homes. You can fit 190 of them onto a football pitch, yet they meet the UK's minimum housing standards.

Lizzie, a friend of mine, is an architect. She has developed a design for quickly manufactured shelters for victims of natural disasters. Over the years the quality of such emergency shelter has become surprisingly good. They are hardly luxurious, but the choice between a flat-pack home and living in the packaging is not a difficult one.

Lizzie is a Christian. It is her Christian conscience that pushed her in this direction.

Yet a glance at the teaching of the founder of Christianity is arresting.

Jesus was notoriously depressing about housing, saying, 'Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.' He was downbeat about possessions, pointing to heaven as a place of treasure. He sent his disciples out two by two with no spare clothes or cash and told them to beg accommodation and food.

Whether the decision to live in a small home is a lifestyle choice or a necessity, for Jesus the mission is more important. To walk with him there was no time to be looking back. He likened the journey of the disciple to 'taking up your cross'. In those days, if you took up a cross, you weren't coming back.

I have a nice home; a place of security and comfort, a safe base from which to do my work. It does me good to remember those who sleep in packaging, whose homes can blow away. Take a moment to give thanks for the roof under which you sit and, perhaps, to pray for those who wish they had one.

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