Sunday, 16 December 2018

Inspiring new light of recognition

THE results of the general election, which surprised many, will delight some but cause much concern

THE results of the general election, which surprised many, will delight some but cause much concern to others.

Old enmities remain and new ones have been exposed within many communities, while the shifting social and political tectonic plates within the United Kingdom create uncertainty for all.

Hopefully, though, our new government will seek good for our whole, if disparate, nation.

In such challenging times, should we not remind ourselves of the parable of the Good Samaritan and our responsibility to love our neighbour as we love ourselves, whoever they may be?

Yet, in times of such strong, often conflicting, opinions and emotions, are we prepared to recognise and accept our neighbour as we find them?

Amid strongly expressed convictions, we often forget that we are all God’s children and it is our duty to care for one another. We need to think as much about the situation in which others find themselves as we think about our own situation.

To love one’s neighbour is often to recognise the context in which we find them, a lifetime that has moulded them as much as we have been moulded by the life we have lived. Are we prepared to put ourselves in their shoes?

Many folks in our own communities, unknown to us, have suffered, or are suffering, from loneliness, deprivation (yes, we do need food banks), or the distress of guilt or waywardness.

Yet, a kind word or small gesture may give great comfort, even if in the context of current political conflict their direct response to us is contradictory or aggressive.

Whatever our individual political persuasion, may the spirit of Easter, which we celebrated just a month ago, renew within us such insight that we may recognise political strife for what it is, a few bumps along life’s way, a pathway that may eventually lead us to new insights, as if upon the road to Emmaus.

May any such inspiring new light of recognition give us the grace to care for those around us, whatever their opinions, and lead us to a future together within a truly caring community.

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