Vicar’s Reflection: 4th November 2018, Observed as St Luke’s Day
Scientists have long been puzzled by the unusual behaviour called altruism: defined as “a selfless concern for the well-being of others”. Humans and some animals display this behaviour. It is a common feature of most religions and a puzzle for scientists because it seems to be contrary to the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest. Altruism raises the question: what motivates us to be good? Scientists have proposed that an altruistic act assists group survival even if it costs the individual. That is one answer. For Christians a more satisfying answer is that it is a response to the love of God made personal in Jesus Christ. Jesus not only taught about love He also gave us the supreme example of that love. Our Parish is named after Saint Luke who told the story of the love of God in the life of Jesus (Gospel of Luke) and as it continued in the lives of his followers (Acts of the Apostles). As a physician Luke’s Gospel often highlights the more compassionate aspects of Jesus’ interactions with people. His healings were more than the clinical activity of a healer, he responded with compassion, sorrow and empathy for people’s pain and disability. His healings did more than assure the physical survival of a person or group they were about bringing the forgiveness, light and love of God into their lives. May the same Spirit that filled Jesus be our motivation as his followers and members of this Parish.