Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney 12 June 2001


It’s an exciting time in Leicestershire right now, at least architecturally.  Leicester City have lined everything up and they’re about to start work on the new larger football stadium.  It’s been a saga of more stops than starts so far, but at last the Foxes are going to have a stadium worthy of their Premier status in this 21st Century.  The National Space Centre is almost ready to open its doors.  What a privilege for our City to have the best space facility in Europe, and what an opportunity for jobs and tourism.  And Conkers, the new Centre in the National Forest, with its building a strong contender for European Building of the year, recently opened.  Three fine public buildings befitting a county that has had more than its share of architectural disasters over the years.


It’s not so much the good and interesting buildings that have been demolished as the tawdry cheapjack buildings that so often replaced them that have diminished the cityscape. It is important for people to be proud of their environment, and buildings matter.  But people need to feel a sense of ownership of public buildings too.  You don’t spray your own wall with graffiti; you don’t break your own windows; you don’t uproot trees you’ve planted yourself.  Good buildings give us a sense of nobler things.


Too many of us feel cut off from the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship.  That’s partly why the voting turn-out last Thursday was the lowest for 82 years.  “What’s the point?  It’s nothing to do with me.  I don’t count.”


However, the Bible reveals that we are uniquely valuable to God.  He had each one of us in mind right from the first pico-second of the Big Bang, when He said “Let there be light”.  And because He could see how we stumble around making a mess of things, He sent Jesus to show us the way to lives overflowing with happiness. A key teaching is to care for each other, even people who are our enemies.  The Good Samaritan, who looked after the man who had been mugged, came from an enemy nation.


Last week it was reported that Mazen Joulani, 33, a Muslim pharmacist, was shot dead in Jerusalem, probably in revenge for the suicide bomb that had killed 21 Israelis in Tel Aviv.  And his family donated his organs to the Israeli transplant system for transplant, and three Jewish lives were saved as a result.  That’s true nobility – and Jesus would approve.


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