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Reflections

Osbaldwick and Murton Parish Link

September 2014 - A Global Village

The Global Village has come to Osbaldwick and Murton. More and more families from other faith cultures are setting up home among us. So we say welcome and offer the hand of friendship. Yet the question arises “how are we to welcome them?”

In a time of great interfaith and intercultural suspicion it is easy to adopt a negative, questioning stance. It is easy to put on superior airs and graces claiming that we are in some way superior. One of the bible readings last month is very helpful when looking at the Global Village issue of cultural welcome.

Jesus is travelling in foreign parts and comes across a Canaanite woman who wants Jesus to heal her daughter. Then, as now, there was hatred between the two religious cultures. His disciples readily remind Jesus that she is not much better than a dog and urge him to have nothing to do with her. Even Jesus seems to go along with such a view saying that, “It is not right to take a children’s bread and toss it to their dogs”. But the foreign woman is not to be put off and readily reminds Jesus that whatever our apparent status we are all children of God and He provides for all by whatever means.

When at university I looked at interfaith relations and a wonderful insight came to me. If we learn from each other and accept each other, and by this I do not mean tolerate each other, God forbid, we become enriched by a greater knowledge of God’s purposes for us – to be the complete community of God in this place.

Jack

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