Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 18th October 2020 St Luke the Evangelist

Today we remember St Luke, author of the Acts of the Apostles as well as the gospel which bears his name. Luke is generally accepted to be the physician mentioned by Paul in his letters to the Colossians, Timothy and Philemon. As such, Luke is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons, as well as butchers, artists, students and bachelors. This is not the time or place to get distracted by the academic arguments as to whether this is actually historically proven. Instead the feast of St Luke gives us the opportunity to pause and think about the call to heal, proclaimed by Jesus as portrayed in Luke’s writings.

In the past we probably only thought about the dedication of health professionals when we had dealings with them either through our own medical needs or those of the people around us. That is unless like me you or a loved one worked for the NHS or other health sector. Recently, however, most people have been made aware of just how dedicated medical staff can be.

To name but a few examples: The recently retired returned to their old professions. Professionals changed roles from clinics to front line emergency medicine. Care home staff moved into their places of work in order to protect those around them. Then we had a lull, and these dedicated professions had a break and chance to recuperate. Although I suspect not enough time to fully process all they have witnessed. Unfortunately, it was only a lull and the rising figures show that the NHS is facing a return to those horrendous days of full Intensive Therapy Units, uncomfortable PPE and emotional trauma.

So, our thoughts on this day when we remember St Luke, must be with all those health care professionals who are facing another period of overwork, stress, stifling conditions and separation from their families. We give thanks that it is our Creator God who has given scientists, doctors and other health care professionals the wisdom to find cures and treatments for many of those diseases which used to kill and injure millions. We pray for all those who are working towards a vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 at the moment. May they find the inspiration and revelation offered by our Lord and Saviour.

We are so privileged in this country to have our NHS where treatment is given freely to all, regardless of background or income level. May this equality, advocated by Jesus’ teaching and recorded by Luke, grow in all aspects of our daily lives.

I pray that all your lives, and the lives of those you pray for, may be full of the healing power of Jesus.

Revd Sandra