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Viewpoint from Rev Peter Paine (Port Chaplain) for 26th July 2013

Rev Peter Paine - Port Chaplain

Member of Gorleston Baptist church:
“Which of these… do you think was a neighbour to the
man DSCF9779 200x133-001who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10: 36)

A couple of weeks ago was Sea Sunday, when all churches were asked to remember Seafarers who bring into this country so much. Did you know that around 90% of goods that come into this country come in by sea, mainly from the other side of the world?

Our story today is all about helping others, the response of the Priest and the Levite was to move to the other side of the road and continue on their way. Whereas the Samaritan man goes to him the man and tends to his wounds and even pays for him at the inn.

We gather in relative safety and security, yet there are those at sea, who like the man robbed on the road, feel vulnerable, abandoned and overlooked. Many seafarers continue to be held for long periods by pirates in very poor conditions and live in fear of their lives. As the global economic squeeze has taken hold, many at sea, have found the conditions hard and sometimes have not seen aDove right generous response from their employers.

Whilst sailing modern ships and working the oceans can both be a challenging and fulfilling experience, they have not benefited from the kinds of investment which would be desirable. No matter how good the conditions at sea might be for some, crews are still faced with long periods of time away from their families and friends and others who love them. In such circumstances as these, who is to be their neighbour, who is to show them generous love?

Given that we know of those around the world who are in need of our support and intervention, and if we are to listen to this parable, we can understand that seafarers in need are our neighbours. It might also be worth asking how we are prevented from fully and appropriately reacting to that opportunity. The Mission to Seafarers whom I work for is the largest maritime organisation who care for the Seafarer whilst away from Family and Friends around the world

If you were to be like the man who was robbed, who would be your neighbour?

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’, and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Luke 10 v 27

Please take time to remember Seafarers and the wonderful work they do for you and your family, oh, by the way, your Christmas goods have now left China and will soon be arriving in this country ready for you to have a wonderful Christmas!