Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A sermon on the skyline.

I find the City of London depressing. If you look at old paintings, one building dominated the skyline: St. Paul's Cathedral. Cathedrals are usually on the highest ground of a city, like Durham, and dominate the landscape like Ely. They are architectural statements of the lordship of Christ over all life. But now in The City it is the temples of mammon which dominate and give us dark shade on the streets. Money rules and not only in the West. Visiting Dubai I noticed how insignificant are the mosques compared with all the newly built tower blocks in this Babel of the Gulf.

I understand that no-one in the Muslim world should build a minaret higher than the ones in Mecca and that in a city, the minaret should be the tallest tower. Certainly no church building should be allowed a taller spire or tower.

Now the citizens of Switzerland have voted to prohibit new minarets. I can understand why but there is something there that I find to be a denial of liberty, albeit of the liberty of those who repress other religions when they rule the roost. I think another solution could have been found. Christian countries could restrict the height of minarets in any given town tho at least 20 feet lower than the tallest church. That sends out a suitable message I believe.

But let me end on a positive note. There is a church in the City where one may stand on its front steps and see the figure of Justice with her scales on top of The central Criminal Court, The Old Bailey. Looking above and beyond is the golden ball atop the dome of St Paul's, and on top of the globe, the cross. The line of sight is up from Justice to the cross. Grace triumphs over judgment. There is a sermon on the skyline.

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