The Full Picture

If you listen to most of our political leaders today, you get the impression that the only thing that really matters is money - getting the budget balanced, keeping interest rates at the right level, making the government spend less.  Consequently, we are being subject to massive cuts in spending on education, and child and parental support.  Very few people would argue that there needed to be changes in the level of government spending, but the whole equation seems to be based around making us more competitive overseas, or giving us a "leaner, meaner, economy".  But for what purpose?  We are not being told about the benefits for Australian families.  What is the impact on our children and grandchildren of these changes.  What sort of society are we becoming?

Politicians are usually good at either painting the broad picture, or highlighting the impact on individuals.  Rarely do we find a vision which embraces the whole country and its place in the world coupled with a vision of what it means for individual, ordinary Australians like you and I.  Australia is more than just an economy, it is a society, with real people with real needs, people who seem to have been forgotten in the race to make the almighty budget balance, or the almighty dollar maintain its value on the international currency markets.  Who can get the whole thing in perspective?

The central message of Jesus was the kingdom of God coming to rule in the lives of men and women.  This kingdom embraced a vison for all humanity, every nation.  At the same time it embraced a purpose for every individual, every family, every sub-group in society, both on its own, and in relationship to each other.  It was a vision which embraced economic, social, moral and political purposes.  It was a caring vision, in which the poorest and the least powerful were taken into consideration.

How much have we embraced that vision for our lives? for our church? for our local community?  How has it affected the way we live?  Jesus not only proclaimed and lived out that vision, he left us with the resources to see it fulfilled in increasing measure in our midst.  God knows we need it afresh today.

August 29, 1993

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