As part of our staff Chapel service to begin Term 2, we heard the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth or rust can destroy, but rather seek treasures in Heaven”.
Based on that verse, I reflected as Chaplain on my economics degree, a field of study which has at its heart, what is termed ‘the Economic Problem’: the allocation of finite or limited resources amongst infinite or unlimited wants.
Some life experience later and my further degree was in theology, defined as ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’. As I said to staff that morning, my theology is best summarised as one of ‘Grace’: the unmerited, unearned gift of this life and all its goodness and blessings. And I’ve come to realise that it has exactly the opposite problem to the economic problem. Faith, or theology, is the allocation of unlimited resources amongst our limited wants. Those resources include forgiveness, goodwill, calm and inner peace. When you draw on these, the supply isn’t used up. Our problem as humans is that we don’t want them enough! We are so often caught up in our own ego, our hurts, our jealousies and conflicts that we don’t go to the well to draw on the limitless offerings of God and God’s goodness.
So, here, in my own past fields of study is this contrast: the never-ending, competitive human pursuit of wants – itself a commentary on the society we have built - against the always available, limitless resources that flow from faith and trust in God.
As an act of trust and dedication for the term commencing, staff then spent time in quiet reflecting on the one resource each of us would hope for. May it be so amongst us.
Rev Phil Hoffmann