Vicar's Letter June 2018
Shining the light of Christ
Last week I had the privilege of attending a special service in the centre of Derby, to celebrate and commemorate the birth of Florence Nightingale in May1820.
A woman who has an ongoing influence on everybody in our society and throughout the world, as nursing care is still founded upon the basic principles that she introduced in caring for the sick. A woman of great compassion, matched by her intelligence, tenacity and great faith. Florence recognised that caring for people, especially those in need, is a God given vocation, underlined by Jesus command to ‘Love your Neighbour as Yourself’.
Known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, we can learn a lot from Florence, who shone a light that gave hope to all who saw her carrying the light. For Florence, her lamp was a practicality that enabled her to see her patients clearly, yet somehow it was much more than this. For the people perceiving the coming light, it was a symbol of hope; Florence not only carried the lamp, but also the Light of Christ and his compassion and saving power.
Those Florence saw by the light of the lamp, were illuminated, and she recognised Christ in each one of them.
‘Whatsoever you have done for the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me’. My prayer dear Brothers and Sisters, is that each one of us will have the compassion of Florence to all we encounter, and that we will shine that same light of Christ in all we do, remembering that we are serving Christ Himself.
Your Friend and Associate Vicar,