Friday 24th April
Ramadan has begun. And for many of our Muslim friends that adds another dilemma to their already complicated daily pattern under lockdown.
It is a sobering fact that the black, Asian and ethnic minority members of our NHS staff are suffering a disproportionate number of deaths from Covid-19. There is no doubt that carers and other workers at risk, of all faiths and none, have given their lives to serve others in our communities - both friends and strangers.
Listening to Jenny from New Zealand, describing her involvement in the nursing of Boris Johnson in the Intensive Care Unit highlighted the reality that our doctors and nurses are risking their lives to care for all who come through the hospital doors. A patient's faith stance, ethnic origin, colour or gender are irrelevant. They are caring for fellow human beings in their hour of great need.
It is the kind of action that supremely illustrates Jesus's point in telling the story of the Good Samaritan. We are all neighbours in a global village and any one of us might end up being cared for by a stranger who is Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Atheist or whatever.
It is a humbling thought for me that wipes away any arrogant idea that Christians have a monopoly on the beliefs, values and attitudes we all admire in our neighbours. Jesus' view of true neighbourliness echoed sentiments found in the Book of Ruth and in the Prophets and in the scriptures of other faiths too.
Mother, Father God,
Thank you for all those who are risking their lives for friends and strangers.
Help us to realise our common humanity and embrace the concept of a global community suffering together and healing one another.
May we believe we can get through this - together.