Amma Sue - October 2015

posted 1 Nov 2015, 01:54 by Richard Jones   [ updated 1 Nov 2015, 01:54 ]

Dear Friends 

Over the last few weeks I have had, for me, the rather strange experience of doctors’ and hospital appointments. Not being someone who ‘does’ sickness I have found this a very humbling, and at times  frustrating, experience as I have been brought face to face with the fact that no matter how hard I may wish it to be my body isn’t completely under my control! I am very grateful for all the expertise that has been so much in evidence from both the medical professionals and the ancillary staff at medical centres, hospitals and clinics. So often the NHS comes in for a lot of ‘stick’ from all sides; from the government, through the press and other media, and from the average ‘bod’ in the street. It seems to me that a lot of the time we forget what a great blessing and social institution this is. With its central principle of medical care being free and available to all regardless of wealth or poverty at the point of need it is an institution which exemplifies Christ’s command to love neighbour as self and in so doing give glory to God. 

October 18th is St. Luke’s day and tradition has it that he was a physician as well as a friend and co-worker of Paul in his evangelistic travels, not to mention an artist. We know him best as the one attributed with writing the third Gospel – according to Luke. And so this month presents us with a wonderful opportunity to give thanks and praise to God for Aneurin Bevan’s vision, and most of all for those who continue to carry it forward today; medical practitioners, care and ancillary staff, administration staff, medical research scientists and laboratory staff; in fact everyone who works in the NHS! As you will see from elsewhere in the magazine we are planning a special celebration service at St. Mary’s in Mellor to both honour Luke and all who in our present time work for the relief of those who are ill in body and mind. 

In the Gospels we see that Jesus’ healing of the sick and troubled was not simply a 2D approach but a holistic 3D action. Jesus reaches out not only to the physical and mental ailments of those brought to his care but also to  their  spiritual  need  and  suffering.  The  Church seeking  to follow her Lord’s command and example has a long tradition of seeking to offer spiritual, as well as physical care to those who are ill.  The Celebration Service on 18th October will also offer the opportunity for you to come for prayer for yourself or for others and receive the ancient Sacrament of Prayer and Anointing; for yourself or on another’s behalf.  The Church as the Body of Christ needs all its members to stand before God in prayer for those who suffer in “body, mind or spirit,” and so I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the service, whether you have someone particular to pray for or not. 

“Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord…Therefore…pray for one another, so that you may be healed” [James 4, 13 &14, 16]. 

With every blessing

Sister Sue OCMM