Loving Our Global Neighbour – Eastertide Reflection 27
By Emma Barker
Since the lockdown, my physical world, or bubble has become very small. The furthest I’ve really been in the last 8 weeks is the five-minute walk to the park, to walk the dog, the occasional short detour to the post office, and the excitement of my trip in the car to pick up a prescription.
During this time of COVID I realise how for the first few weeks at least I had become both physically locked down, but also in my thinking. My mind was consumed by ‘staying safe, making sure my friends and family were okay and lamenting the thing that couldn’t happen – seeing loved ones, house moves and friend’s weddings.
One evening I was half watching a news report on the NHS nightingale hospitals and half scrolling Facebook when I saw a post from my old colleague Bex at Christian Aid. She posted about how they were furloughing staff as they were anticipating a £6m drop in income.
My mind jumped to some of the communities and people I’d met when I had the opportunity to travel with Bex to see Christian Aid’s work in the Philippines. I looked at the TV and the beautifully equipped Nightingale hospital and thought of the stark comparison to how ill-equipped so many of the worlds poorest countries would be to fight coronavirus, aside from the existing challenges they were facing prior to all this.
Jesus tells numerous times in the gospels that we are called to take an active part in meeting the needs of those around us, near and far away. In Matthew’s gospel chapter 25 Jesus tells us of the importance to provide for peoples needs; when I was hungry you gave me something to eat, when I was sick you looked after me, when I was in prison you visited me. And he calls us to do this, not to make ourselves feel good, but as a way of reflecting his light and love into the world.
Christian Aid Week has been, for so many people for so many years, a point in the year when they deliberately take time as part of their public Christian witness to love our global neighbour. To raise money, to campaign and to pray for our world. And while this year, we can’t have a typical Christian Aid week, the need to support work of charities such as Christian Aid has never been so important and the call from God is still there to love our global neighbour.
So this Christian AId Week I pray God would help us all to look out to the wider world, to extend our love to our neighbour, to speak out for those without a voice and to pray.