I have two abiding images of this last week. One of the experience of my ordination as Bishop in Canterbury Cathedral, surrounded by the love and the prayers of so many, literally surrounded by my brother and sister bishops as they joined in the ordination prayer, images that brought with them a deep sense of being both called and sent, sent to share the love of God as a disciple of his son Jesus Christ.
The other is of the continuing, but little noticed crisis in the Yemen where war has torn this beautiful country apart, of babies, malnourished, struggling and in many cases, failing to live. Then in one photograph the hand of a doctor is seen gently caressing the tiny limbs of one such child, communicating, through touch, warmth, love and care. At the beginning of what for me is a new ministry among the people of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire this has been a powerful reminder of what we are called to, the humanity we are all, whatever our faith, called to share, humanity which the church is called to live not to shame the world but to bring light to the world. To belong, to be cared for, and to be loved is the most precious gift we can ever receive. It is also a gift to be shared, to be lived without boundaries without limits.
The truth is that, however hard this may be, I am connected to that child, bound in a common humanity, that child is my child, because we are both God’s child, she is waiting for my love, my care. I cannot abandon her any more than I believe God can abandon me.
By the Rt Revd Robert Springett, Bishop of Tewekesbury