Friday 10th February 2023

On my summer holiday I saw a number of people scouring Nelson beaches with metal detectors. To be honest, I was pretty sceptical about them finding anything much of value.

What is the most valuable thing you have ever found? Despite my pessimistic evaluation of local detecting this kind of treasure hunting has born amazing results in some parts of the world.  In the UK last year enthusiastic metal detectorists discovered 96% of archaeological and treasure finds!  Wow!  What we are to earnestly seek?

Jesus says in the book of Matthew, chapter 6:

"19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Our special character continually urges us to consider what we desire.  There are twelve schools with associations to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Each school has its own story, valued traditions and current flavour but they all share the special character of a Christian ethos within the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition.  In our case, John McGlashan was a man of firm Christian beliefs and his vision was that each boy would grow to be a well-educated man of character who uses his influence for the good of others. 

Our ‘special character’ is a foundation which undergirds our school life.  Those that founded the school in Christian principles shared a vision of a world that belonged to God.  This is a world where people have a responsibility to live well for the sake of others (and the world itself). A great education helps to form young men with foundations for life - a life that is directed to the welfare of the world we share.

We have high expectations of all boys, yet each of us is valuable and valued, not merely because of what we can achieve but because we are loved by God. So, if I wanted to get our special Christian Presbyterian character down to a ‘so what’, I want to suggest this revolves around whether we deeply value the treasure of God's love in our world and lives.  John McGlashan and all those involved in founding this school wanted us to carefully consider what is really valuable before God and to live lives in service to God and others. This year and beyond I pray that God may help us all to see what is truly of value and to shape our lives accordingly. Where is your treasure?