Action Zones 

From The Revd Frank Cliff August 2021

FRANK CLIFFRev Frank Cliff
Assistant Priest, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry

As I write this short article the rules that have governed our lives for so many months are being relaxed. For many of us this will bring a sigh of relief that we can meet our nearest and dearest again after months of estrangement. But for others this news will bring a heightened sense of foreboding because the more people mix the greater the number of infections, which will put some of us in danger. In situations like this it is always the most vulnerable that bear the heaviest toll. The Bible has something to say about this sort of situation as Jesus says “Love your neighbour as yourself”
In the film Bicentennial Man, Robin Williams plays as a robot who has transformed himself into a human being but the State does not recognise him as human after all he was constructed, not born of woman. In a moving scene when asked what he desires, Robin Williams states simply the he needs acknowledgement. Not wealth, fame, or even the rights that other humans enjoy but simply acknowledgement that he is human
It is a simple gesture which we all aspire, to be acknowledged for whom we are, not what the world would label us. It is Jesus’ greatest strength that always he acknowledges people for who they are not what society thinks they are, as the woman at the well told her neighbours
"Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" (John 4:29). She was astonished that Jesus knew her
So where does this leave us as the restrictions ease? It leaves us in the position to be compassionate to others, to try and understand where our neighbours’ fears and anxieties are and to do our best to sooth away fear and doubt
It is the essence of that community spirit that has been one of the hallmarks of the last eighteen months
It is my fervent prayer that we will all continue in the same spirit once restrictions are lifted and that we all work to a better future for ourselves and those around us. Amen
Fr Frank

also published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life



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