Have you noticed that, after several years of scepticism and accusations of ‘fake news’, we have more recently seen the return of the ‘Expert’? I sit and write this having just watched the Prime minister, flanked by the Government’s Chief Science Adviser and the Chief Medical Officer, give a detailed press briefing on what to expect from the corovnavirus, and what steps to take in order to reduce its impact.
We were told bluntly to expect to lose loved ones, and of the need to delay the period of maximum impact and reduce its spike so as to enable the Health Service to cope. By the time you read this, we will have a much better idea how accurate their predictions and how good their advice will have been.
Here at Liberton, our approach throughout the crisis has been to listen well to what we have been advised to do, and exercise as much care as we can to avoid those who are elderly or vulnerable being put at any additional risk. Again, by the time you read this we will all have a better idea of how well we are managing to do this.
Throughout these weeks of uncertainty, however, a couple of principles still remain unchanged. The most expert advice of all is advice that has stood the test of time, and in this case it has stood for more than a couple of thousand years…
…an expert in the law, tested Jesus with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22.35-38)
Virus or no virus, as followers of Jesus we are called to put God’s love first and the needs of others before those of our own. Even within government guidelines, there will always be scope for us to continue to look after our vulnerable and isolated neighbours, whether by helping them out with their shopping, or simply phoning to reassure them they are not forgotten and are in our prayers. I hope that, by the time you read this, we will all know what it means to be a part of a community with God’s love at its heart.
Much love, John