Of Equal Value


Repercussions from George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police continue. Violent rioters clash with the police. 40 cities are in lockdown across the US.

There are demonstrations across the world. Politicians speak about law and order, justice and discrimination. A journalist asks, ‘Is a black man worth less than a white blond attractive woman.’

Jesus’ disciples rebuked parents for bringing their children to Jesus. ‘Jesus was indignant!’ By his words and actions Jesus valued all people equally, regardless of their age, race, occupation, medical or psychological condition, or sexual history.

Kim speaks of time spent in eating disorder units:

‘… Keeping up with the other patients by eating as little as possible. Being able to say I have been nine days without a drop of food passing my lips made feel like I was achieving at something. In every other aspect of my life I felt a failure…’

And now

‘…I am ruled by my addiction to eating, purging and taking laxatives. My problem now is food. I cannot survive without it and it’s my biggest addiction! … My every moment is focused on the next feeding time.’

We pay lip-service to all being of equal value. I fear that we subconsciously rank ourselves above the addict, the illegal immigrant, the struggling single parent, the dementia sufferer…

John Bradford committed his life to the protestant faith. Seeing criminals led away to their execution he identified with them saying: ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’

When Mary, the catholic, became queen, Bradford was martyred for his faith. He not only identified with the executed criminal but he became one.

St Paul describes his many-parted body. ‘Those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable.’

George, young children, Kim, John, criminals, St Paul, you, me – all of equal value.


Mark 10:14

John Bradford (1510-1555) was paymaster to the English army and a law student. Influenced by the religious reformers Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer and Thomas Cranmer he became a preacher and chaplain to King Edward VI (Wikipedia)

1 Corinthians 12:22

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