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The Golden Rule

on Sun, 25/09/2011 - 3:27pm

Well I have been busy with the new term. My summer activity with St Marks Church was great. Mike Leigh et moi did some filming - the Potty Professors to be exact. Our theme with the children was Creation as we went through the 7 days (in 5 days). The children enjoyed crafts from paper mache globes to homemade bird feeding boxes. About 45 junior school children attended each day - well done Mike, Alison and the team!

The Autumn term has now started my first theme has been 'The Golden Rule'. My studies indicate that all the major religions and many others support what has been summed up as this 'Golden rule'. One of the modern attempts at a synthesis on this basis is Karen Armstrong with her Charter for Compassion. Sadly I would in the past have felt threatened by such a suggestion. Would not the distinctiveness of the Christian faith be compromised by this recognition that the central command of Jesus is equally owned by Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs and Jews? Perhaps and perhaps not. Firstly I would consider it a weakness of any philosophy or world view that should feel threatened simply because there is agreement from other quarters. If for this reason only I not only see it as unnecessary to make some sort of defence but also see it as counter-productive. For me this is great news for the advancement of peace in our age and I will work alongside anybody with such an ideal. Secondly. The distinctiveness of Jesus Christ is not his teaching alone but through His very life and death backing up what he said. The one who taught that we should treat others the way we ourselves should be treated actually lived this out in his death. His cry from the Cross was the ultimate demonstration of the Golden Rule when while hanging on the Cross He cried for His enemies 'Forgive them for they know not what they do'. He walked the talk even unto death. In so doing the incomparable love of God overcame evil not by resistance but by absorption, dissolution, swallowing up death with Death and Rising triumphant on the third day! It was his adherence exclusively to this Golden Rule which led to His death ... His healing on the Sabbath, eating Corn on the Sabbath and fellowshipping with the 'unclean' infuriated the religious leaders whose authority and control was threatened ultimately leading to the Cross. Jesus never wavered, never compromised and suffered willingly the consequences of the Golden Rule.

So we must also seek above all things to keep this Golden Rule ... to do to others what we would want them to do for ourselves. This is not easy - we need Gods help. for me it is a lifetime's work. I like to get my squawky friend Russel Crow out for the kids - a simple fluffy bird puppet. I ask Russel to fly,squawk, and land on a childs head and act very disappointed when this does not happen. All is good when I put my hand in the puppet. Now with my life in Russell he is able to do what I ask. (This works providing we do not take the illustration too far ... i.e. we are God's puppets).

Anyway this has been made into an assembly entitled would you believe The Golden Rule.

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