Seeing work through to the bitter end
I am always amazed at what lengths people go to in order to ensure they are doing their best in their work, but also to enable their fellow human beings to have a better life.
Even though it is now 10 years ago, I still have the image of the rescue teams in Chile working to rescue their trapped colleagues in a collapsed mine. They faced numerous challenges, many dangers and great personal cost. Working long hours, their one vision was for the safety and rescue of their friends, family and colleagues. We have all seen news images of emergency services personnel entering flaming buildings to rescue those trapped people, their one driving motivation is the well being of their fellows.
We are seeing the same kind of determination now, in the many health and care workers who’re seeking to support the vulnerable and those suffering from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. We see it too in the scientists striving to develop tests and vaccines; in the manufacturers changing their processes determined to make protective equipment or life-saving machines; in the food suppliers seeking to make sure everyone has sufficient to eat; and in the work of many other keyworkers and volunteers.
Today of all days, on Good Friday, we see the prime example of seeing one’s work through to the bitter end – on this day, in order to proclaim freedom for all, Jesus saw his work through to the bitter end. There were plenty of times he could have stepped back from the brink, run off into the distance and avoided his fate. Yet he didn’t. He saw his work through to the end, so that de-humanising power would be confronted and challenged, so that after him there was a possibility of living life in a new reality.
Today, in remembering the new hope the Cross brings, we give thanks for all whose daily work brings challenge and risk but, despite all, they persevere so that their fellows may have a better life.