The Vicar’s Letter – April 2019
I am sure there are many who were touched by the news story of Keira and Max back in February as their names were used to head up a new Government Bill to encourage more organ donation – a welcome relief from the tedium of Brexit!
Keira Ball was 9 years old when she tragically died in a car accident. Max was one of four people who received one of Keira’s donated organs and for him it was literally life-saving. He and his family had waited 7 months for a new heart and had almost given up hope, Max was in the last hours and days of his life.
Even in our post Christian society where, generally speaking, we have placed our faith and hope in ourselves rather than the God who created us, we are still taken with this story. Even though we don’t necessarily recognise it, we are drawn by the deep truths and hope of resurrection. I believe this is because God has placed sacrifice and resurrection at the heart of the universe. The God willingly sacrifices his own divine nature to come amongst us in the person of Jesus and then ransoms his life so that we might live. Surely that is the best news that any of us could experience. It is the ‘scandal of grace.’
Keira’s dad, when asked whether the family wanted to donate her organs recognised that, if they had asked Keira the question, she wouldn’t have hesitated to give life to others. If we are attentive to what God is doing in our lives, we begin to recognise that there are many moments, when we are given opportunity to sacrifice something of ourselves in order to give life to others. That is what it means to participate in resurrection. That is what it means to be a Christian; to be so inspired by Jesus who gave his life so that others would receive life, that we go and do likewise.
This Easter, I pray that we might be so inspired by the future reality of heaven, that we seek to bring a foretaste of that heaven into our world now. That is what Christians hope for. That is what God promises for those who put their faith in the one who knows us better than we know ourselves. As we discover what it means to follow Jesus, may we become life-givers in every sense of the word – to our families, our friends, our neighbours, our communities.