The chancellor of the exchequer will present his first budget today. The economy, so we are told, is in better shape that was originally though so Parliament will hold its breath and wait and see what he has to say. However, Mr Hammond, due to his previous cautious nature is not seen as likely to be giving much away, and with the clause 50, beginning the process of leaving the EU likely at the end of the month the financial implications of this budget will surely be taking this into account. One things for sure, the financial experts will be analysing as the chancellor speaks and the banking institutions will be waiting with bated breath, especially when it comes to any hint of movement of interest rates. Then all the experts will give their opinions and the world markets will respond – and that’s the budget!
The Bible speaks much about money. Jesus taught that taxes should be paid and that we should render to Caesar’s that which is Caesars and that honour and worship should be given to God. Then again it’s not money, but the love of money which the Bible condemns, as shared wealth has the potential of doing much good when used to help those in need. Greed, selfishness, with blind indifference to the needs of others is like the story Jesus told of the man who built more and more barns until the day came when suddenly and unexpectedly it was all taken away from him.
According to the Bible our time, money, together with our God given gifts and abilities all come from God. In a world where there is so much insecurity and inequality, with many living in abject poverty we just cannot pass by on the other side. A ‘budget’ implies that we make plans, we are careful and wise in how we use what we have. It means that we take in the circumstances in which we find ourselves and listen carefully to the predications of those whose experience we can trust. Then in the end, to use a trusted saying we ‘cut our clothes according to our cloth.’ None of us know what’s around the corner, but in trusting in the faithfulness and promises of God and never forgetting the needs of others we will live at peace with ourselves and with others. In the words of a much loved song. ‘If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain’
And that’s the greatest blessing of all!

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