Have you read the reading from the Acts of the Apostles which was set for Sunday, 7th May? It tells us of the very beginning of the Christian Church. It was at that time when the news of Jesus’ Resurrection was THE news of the day. Those who had known Jesus were overjoyed that the person whom they had known had come back to life. It was also the time when Jesus was no longer with them in person since it was after his Ascension in to heaven.
They had known Jesus as someone who lived a life of love for all around him. He taught, indeed commanded, his followers to love each other and to love all whom they encountered. There was to be no distinction on grounds of race, wealth or health. He talked to the Samaritan women, he commended the poor widow and he touched the leper.
In his gathering together his twelve disciples to travel with him, and in gathering the crowds around him; he taught the importance of being part of a community. Now those early followers come together in community. More than that, they shared all that they had making sure that no one was in need.
We have moved a long way from those early beginnings. Next week will be Christian Aid Week; it will be its 60th anniversary. British churches founded Christian Aid in 1945 to support refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War. Twelve years later, Christian Aid Week was launched to help fund this ongoing work. The whole message of Christian Aid is that we need to share what we have so that the problems of poverty, food shortages and of people fleeing hardship and danger can be overcome. In other words, Christian Aid works to obey Jesus’ command to love one another; not just the people whom we know personally but our brothers and sisters around the world.
Dr. Elizabeth Taylor.