Thought for the Week
Winston Churchill, on marking Victory in Europe Day 70 years ago, said, this, “Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle.
“The terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgement and mercy.”
For the majority of those affected by war, for those who lost loved ones, for those whose lives and bodies were broken, the judgement part would be easier than the mercy part.
Yet, 2015 marks not only the 70th anniversary of VE Day but also the founding of Christian Aid. It was the devastation caused by WW2 and the dreadful consequences of it that made it necessary for compassion to be shown to ALL who were in need.
This was where the mercy part came in.
It was an army chaplain the Rev. Douglas Lister of the Church of Scotland who set the ball rolling.
In the aftermath of the war he was approached by a Luftwaffe officer and told of the desperate plight of some 80,000 refugees sheltering in bombed out buildings nearby.
Lister was horrified at the scale of human suffering which met his eyes. He sought help from his superiors but was refused on the basis that he would be fraternising with the enemy.
He then decided to write to churches in Britain pleading for help. Even though the British people were suffering hardship themselves, they responded to their fellow human beings in need.
This outpouring of merciful, nonjudgemental love had an amazing effect. Churches all over Europe began to respond as well. Out of this initial Christian ideal, the organisation we now know as Christian Aid began.
In this 70th year, Christian Aid still works on the basis of offering unconditional help. It doesn’t depend on the recipients being Christian. It doesn’t depend on their culture. The only condition is their need. This radical ideal finds its origin in Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us, ‘We love because God first loved us’. Rev. Maggie McArthur, Fernhill & Cathkin Church.