A message from the Rev’d Diana Netherway, Assistant Curate

Posted by Admin on Friday, 25th September 2015, 21:25

 

Truth and Values – Why does it take tragedy to touch our hearts?

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What were your thoughts on seeing the picture of the lifeless body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi in the media a short while ago? Were you uncomfortable, horrified, embarrassed or perhaps ashamed? Sadly, this tragic child’s death is only the tip of the iceberg. His mother and his brother, amongst many others, were also victims of this terrible crisis for humanity. I have heard comments suggesting that the media used this image in order to shock and/or pull on the heartstrings. But whether or not we agree, it is vital that we remember the human cost of the migrant crisis.
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We have seen different reactions to this issue across Europe. Hungary, Austria, and Germany opening their borders and welcoming migrants with loud cheers and hospitality. But within weeks there are images of razor wire fences being erected in order to reinforce the Hungarian border and more stringent measures in order to prevent illegal crossings into its territory. Has this changed your mind about your feelings towards those who are desperately attempting to gain access to Europe for a better and safer life?
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What we now see from some countries is compassion – the provision of transportation, food, and clothing for those in a desperate plight. Yet there are still many who reject the very notion of providing any form of aid to these people. Some cite the arrogance of migrants who are seen as demanding help rather than asking for it; but should the attitudes of the minority govern our thoughts and actions, whether or not we are Christians?
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There are indeed challenges with regard to providing aid and access to Britain for these desperate people.  Concerns have been raised with regard to the current financial situation, access to hospitals, housing and the potential for overcrowding.  Folk have voiced their concerns about the effect it might have on the employment market and indeed the welfare state. Undoubtedly, all of these issues need to be considered.
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However, I urge you, as fellow human beings, to think about the necessity of helping those who seek refuge from danger, persecution, oppression and even death. From the Christian perspective, are we not encouraged in Isaiah 58:7 – to share our food with the hungry, to open our homes to the homeless poor, give clothes to those who have none and not to refuse help? Christ also tells us in Matthew 25:35-40 that if we feed, clothe, and take care of those in need, we are doing it for Him.
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Sadly though we live in a society which is increasingly devoid of values and truth and many appear not to be in touch with humanity.
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Perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether we are active for God, or are we empty vessels, saying the right thing but failing to act on it? We have a duty to look at the world as being God’s Kingdom, our natural home where all are welcomed, nurtured and loved unconditionally. So, not only must we speak the truth but we should actively work in support of those in need, just as our Lord supports us at all times. Perhaps there will be a time when it will safe for these people to return to their roots, but in the meantime let’s “be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”  Luke 6:36.

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Diana

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