A message from Rita Goddard, Lay Minister

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 22nd June 2008, 00:00

Very few of us in May, I guess, failed to be moved by the scenes of devastation following the cyclone which hit Burma and then not long afterwards the earthquake which rocked China. In this modern age of multi-media appliances, news such as this is so readily available to us making it seem not quite first-hand but almost second-hand. Yet we watch helplessly as scenes of ‘search and rescue’ stream into our homes and we see the look of fear and terror on the faces of those scrabbling through the rubble looking for lost members of their families. If you’re anything like me, you sit and wonder how these people can pick themselves up again and you marvel at their fortitude as they shelter from the relentless rain in makeshift plastic covered homes. They have lost everything but for a good number of them they have lost all that means the most to them; they have lost members of their own families. Those family members have lost their own lives.

Switch channels and we see yet more human tragedy as the family of another murdered teenager is seen trying to come to terms with the loss of their son. Then on another channel a news reporter is seen summing up the ‘Human Embryology’ debate together with conflicting opinions on the abortion issue.

All this took place in just a few weeks, even a few days causing me to think about the preciousness and the value of human life. The bible tells us that ‘we are created in the image of God.’ That being so, we should bear his characteristics of love, justice, mercy and forgiveness amongst others. How pleasing it is to hear grieving parents talk of forgiving those who committed the crime of murder against their son or daughter. How thrilling it is to see men and women selflessly and mercifully taking aid of one sort or another to those who have lost everything. However, few of us get personally caught up in such instances. We must, therefore, seek to honour the preciousness of life amongst our own people and in our own way. Many in our communities, I know, do just that by offering love, help and support to their neighbours and those around them, fulfilling the biblical command to ‘bear one another’s burdens.’

Part of the Human Embryology Debate included discussion on the issue of ‘saviour siblings’, either using tissue or umbilical cord blood stem cells in the treatment of sick elder siblings. It might be interesting at some later stage to discuss such an issue. However, at the time of the debate one word stood out for me – the word saviour. It reinforced my belief as a Christian that God has given a Saviour to the world. His Son the Lord Jesus Christ gave not only His blood but also His life to bring us back into a relationship with God. It is that action which causes me to celebrate life and I hope you will join with me in celebrating life together.

God bless.

Rita Goddard

Lay Minister

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