Two weeks ago I was treated to a visit to London. We stayed at Canary Wharf, in the East End. From the room we could see the flashing light at the top of the obelisk shaped One Canada Square towering above us.
All this built for the financial sector.
For much of it’s history the skyline of London was dominated by church spires and domes. St.Paul’s cathedral was the tallest building in London when it was built. Yjt Lonon skyline used to be famous for the spires of Wren designed churches.
Ironically the tallest building in London when it was built was 1 Canada Square, that temple to mammon. There are no churches in the Canary Wharf development, just a church that meets on a barge, moored in the dock at the foot of the high rise structures.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.
Odd word that, mammon. Other translations have you cannot serve God and money, God and riches or God and wealth.
Not that being rich is wrong. “Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today,” is How Pink Floyd put it, but that is, partially, a misquote of the Bible. St. Paul said that love of money was the root of all evil.
Financial institutions need office space, and in places where space is scarce that means building upwards. I’m not begrudging them that. I work in the financial sector after all, but bot in anything like as magnificent as there towers.
There is nothing wrong with having money. But there is a responsibility as to what you do with it. Are you serving God or money? as Bob Dylan said, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.”