Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked about the fear of public speaking.
He quipped, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death… this means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
It’s certainly true that many of us find the thought of public speaking a daunting prospect. Ask any student on the cusp of an oral assessment task!
And yet, for all our fear of public speaking, school life is punctuated by speeches. There are daily speeches at Quad, at Assemblies of all kinds, at House Meetings, and of course, in Chapel.
Speeches in Chapel are slightly different, as reflected by the different names we use to describe them. When the preacher gets up to expound the Scriptures, we don’t call it a “keynote address”, we call it a “Bible talk”, a “homily” or a “sermon”.
This term in Chapel, our sermon series has taken us back to the best and most famous sermon of all, the “Sermon on the Mount”, recorded in Matthew’s Gospel and originally delivered by Jesus of Nazareth.
In this sermon, Jesus covers a wide range of topics relevant to everyday life. So far, we’ve seen his teaching on what it means to be blessed, on standing out from the crowd, on managing anger by seeking reconciliation, on showing love to our enemies, and on being a genuine force for good in the world.
This week, we are reflecting on Jesus’ teaching on money, and what he meant when he claimed that, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
It might sound strange to talk of people serving money, especially when most of us assume that money is serving us, but research supports the validity of Jesus’ warning. In an article for the Guardian, Professor of Economics Gordon Menzies quotes a number of sociological studies concluding that in contemporary society, money is “revered, feared, worshipped, and treated with the highest respect”.
People do all sorts of things for money, and yet Jesus offers us a better way: serve the true master, who unlike money, loves us back.
For those interested, the full talk may be viewed here:
Nathan Lee | Assistant Chaplain