Footprints daily reflection: 11 April
Don't drift away.
Author: Dr Nicola Brady
We must pay greater attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away from it.
Today’s readings remind of us of God’s covenant with his people and the times when people failed to recognise the realisation of that promise in Christ. Hebrews 2:1-9 provides a timely warning for this season of Lent - a warning to pay attention so as not to allow ourselves to “drift away”.
For many of us, Lent is an important period of reflection and an opportunity to cut through the distractions of our everyday lives to re-focus our attention on the example of Christ, drawing closer to him in our struggles.
In this age of new communication tools and social media, distractions abound. We are more connected than ever before, to the point of information overload. These technological advances should make us feel more connected as a global human family, and there are many positive examples of this, but they have also been shown to lead to greater fragmentation and to be a barrier to real encounter.
Some people are so concerned about the impact of social media, in particular, on their lives that they choose to disconnect, or abstain, for the duration of Lent. At the end of this passage from Hebrews we are warned not to neglect Christ. A crucial element of Jesus’ example to his followers is encounter - the importance of meeting people where they are, especially those who are vulnerable and on the margins of society, and being present with them in their suffering.
Christian Aid seeks to follow this example through an emphasis on partnership working, offering its supporters the opportunity to journey alongside struggling individuals, families and communities, like the fishing community of the island of Tabugon.
This Lent, it is worth reflecting on how we can use this resource to enrich our own lives, and perhaps use social media in a positive way to share inspirational stories of hope and resilience to inspire others.
Your solemn promise to your people gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
In the midst of life’s distractions, help us to know and feel your loving presence.
As we seek to follow the example of Christ, help us to see Him in our neighbours,
near and far, especially those who need our help.
Grateful for the loving mercy you show to your people,
may we be ever-ready to reach out with compassion to all who suffer.
Dr Nicola Brady is the General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches and a board member of Christian Aid Ireland. She previously served as Research Coordinator for the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs.