Rector's Monthly Letter April 2017
Our Lent Course this year is based on determining how we can reflect the light and love of Christ into our communities through small acts of love which can make a difference to the lives of those around us. We’ve also been reflecting on the vital place of water in our lives in ensuring our physical and spiritual health. The headlines on the news this past week have reminded me that as Christians our community spreads much wider than our immediate doorstep. I am of course referring to the tragic famine in East Africa which is unfolding before us. It may have come as news to us but the people there have been living with it for some time and will continue to live with it long after the news headlines have moved on to something else. Famines don’t happen overnight. They happen as a result of crop failure, drought, political instability, population imbalance, or government policies. The result of famine is widespread malnutrition and starvation, as well as epidemics of disease caused by lack of clean water and sanitation. Crop failure and poverty leave people vulnerable to starvation – but famine only occurs with political failure. In Somalia years of internal violence and conflict have been highly significant in creating the conditions for famine. All of this leads to a much increased mortality rate. Famine is not only a natural disaster. It also occurs as a result of human action, whether directly through conflict or through ignoring the damage we are doing to the environment.
As Christians we cannot close our eyes to what is happening. We have a responsibility, given to us by God to offer what help we can. He made us stewards over his earth (Genesis 1:27-30) and he commanded us to love one another and to care for one another. 1 John 3: 16-18 says “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.
During Lent, we are acutely aware of what Christ has done for us on the Cross. He died for the whole of humanity; therefore our community, our brothers and sisters spread as far as the people in East Africa slowly dying of starvation and disease. If we can help, we should help. It’s easy to donate through Tearfund or Christian Aid’s East Africa Crisis Appeals or through the Disasters Emergency Committee.
We look forward to celebrating Easter Day, when Jesus Christ defeated death by rising again. Please let’s honour his sacrifice by giving whatever help we can to the children of God suffering now in East Africa
With love in Christ