We have just celebrated Easter Sunday, for many that would have mainly been about lots of chocolate and family gatherings. But for those in the Church it was about celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, and what that means. What does it mean? New Life in Jesus for ALL, not just the chosen people but for ALL.
We live in a society which can feel both completely integrated but also completely separated, there seem to be so many groups of people but we are also one. Over the next term our overriding theme is “Accepting difference; Celebrating diversity”, we are going to be looking at the equality act of 2010 and each week looking in more detail at some of the protected characteristics.
What does it mean to be equal? For so many it means to be treated exactly the same, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Equality is about ensuring that all people have the same opportunity to achieve and participate. A bit of a silly example is that most of our wedding photos are taken sitting down, why is this the case? It is purely because my husband is 6ft7 and I’m only about 5ft2 so by sitting down we are at a similar level. In work places some people need to be given additional support to be able to complete the same job as someone else.
This does not mean that everybody is going to be able to be successful in everything, after all we all have different skills. My husband is very good at reaching top shelves, whereas I find it easier to bend down and reach things on the floor. However everybody should be given opportunities, and should not be treated differently because of a characteristic about them, whether that is race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, religion, or something else.
Our thought for the week comes from Frances Wright who says:
“Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without equality”
For freedom we need equality, because without equality some people will be penalised and held back. At Easter we celebrated Jesus dying and rising so that we ALL can have freedom after all, as it says in Romans 2:11 “For God does not show Favourtism”
Challenge: Can you think of examples where equality isn’t shown in your every day life? Is there any way that you can challenge that?
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for Jesus dying on the cross and rising to new life, so that we too may have a new life. Thank you that you do not show favouritism and help us to show that in our lives as a reflection of you. Amen