Polling day is with us this week, I wonder who you’re going to vote for?
The news reports and coverage of the pre-election campaigns seem to have taken over the whole of the media coverage and relegated into second place the human and natural disasters that are taking place in various parts of the world.
The earthquake in Nepal that has caused devastation in that country and resulted in the loss of many thousands of lives: the ripple effect of the earthquake appears to have caused the avalanche in the Himalayas which also has caused chaos in that region, and by no means forgetting the hundreds who have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a vain attempt to seek a better life for themselves and their families, fleeing from the effects of war or persecution.
I could go on recalling the tragedies that have come and gone in the news since the beginning of the year and resulting in human loss and suffering.
What can we, individually and as a society, do to bring aid and to relieve the suffering that so many are experiencing? Individually we can contribute to the many appeals that various charitable organisations are organising. Some brave individuals may give their time and go to the affected areas to help in whatever way they can, just like the Good Samaritan, in the Gospel of Luke, who is travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho and comes across a man who has been mugged and badly beaten by robbers.
He cleans and bandages the man’s wounds and cares for him taking him to an inn and paying for his stay there so that he can recover.
Each one of us has a share in the responsibility of looking after our world and our fellow human beings. As a society we rely on our government to facilitate the necessary help and support on a scale that individually we cannot manage. The social teaching of the Christian churches as well as other religions place great emphasis on that responsibility in terms of bringing aid to those in need, of upholding basic human rights and pursuing justice and peace for all.
To achieve success with these aims requires that everyone engages to some extent with political debate and activity, even if it is only to cast ones vote in local and national elections.
Rev. John Wire