Yesterday morning the sun shone, and so Ken and I set out for a day in the Mendips. Before we left a bird was singing loudly from a nearby tree – it turned out to be a very large bullfinch. A perfect start to the morning.
We headed up the M5 to Weston super Mare and then meandered through countryside, villages and towns which we had never discovered before. The town of Axbridge was a real gem, tucked away off the main road and full of fascinating places to explore. In a little shop, selling local lavender products in one half and antiques in the other, I discovered a section of Dalit candles and leaflets explaining the plight of these people, whom Methodist Women in Britain have also supported over the past few years. Then, in the church of St John the Baptist, I found a little booklet explaining how to be a friend to people with dementia. It felt as if everywhere I turned there were reminders of the causes that MWiB have espoused recently.
Since my visit to Greece last May, the plight of refugees has been very much on my mind. Last night I emailed Beth Leeming to reassure her of our prayers. Beth is getting ready to go out next weekend to work voluntarily for two weeks as a midwife in a refugee camp on the island of Samos.
Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers have again been very much in the news over recent days, and I know that many of you are involved in supporting them wherever you see the opportunity, both locally and through national and international appeals and charities. We do not have an official ‘campaign’ through MWiB, although later this month I shall be reporting to Forum on some of the projects which I visited in Germany and which some local groups may choose to support.
Let us continue pray for and to raise awareness of the situations of those whom God places on our hearts and to work together with others who share our concerns for them. Today’s lectionary readings include this passage from Isaiah 58:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Today’s lectionary also reminds us that Jesus calls his followers to be salt and light in the world. The world needs all the salt and light it can get at the moment!