Clare Church: Go About Your Business

Like our little chapel, Clare Church in Suffolk bears a sundial above its entrance. Clare’s is likely better acquainted with sunshine than ours, but these eighteenth and nineteenth century constructions were intended as much for their message as their time keeping. Clare’s states:

Go about your Business

At first, it seems to be telling the visitor to be gone and not enter: “Have you nothing better to do?”. It may refer to the common usage of church porches as places for business transactions and deals to be struck, such as benefited the local economy, and which kept the parish church the centre of civic life.

Alternatively, it might be making a spiritual point. Business here might not mean mere commercial enterprises, for such only concern the wealthy and ambitious. All of us have business to attend- the general affairs of life, such as raising a family or keeping a house. Yet we also have a spiritual enterprise to which we must all be engaged. Each one of us is to be held accountable to our Maker for deeds done in the body. He, being just, must needs punish all wickedness, of which we present him a great quantity. In Christ, whose business was our redemption, even the worst of us may be forgiven. By the time of death, if you have not received this forgiveness, your life is spent and your debt unremitted.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Isaiah 55:1-2

Stop wasting your time pursuing wealth and promotion- go about the business of rescuing your soul.