Continuing care

The Doctor's Life Support for 25 June

‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

Matthew 28: 20

Finally, the Good Samaritan provided ongoing care. He set the injured man on his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him: to the extent that next day he paid the innkeeper and promised additional payment should that be needed. Of course we should beware of reading too much into parables. It would be a mistake, for instance, to base transport, accommodation and fiscal policies for a health service on this parable. However, there is clearly a concept here of continuing care. This is costly and no health manager purchasing it can write a blank cheque for it, for even the richest nations face real challenges in this area. Emergency and intensive care are dramatic, glamorous, exciting – easier for fundraising and big budgets. The less popular specialties are the opposite, but patients in these categories matter every bit as much. Christians have often pioneered and maintained services for them. A God who longs passionately for justice and mercy wants his people to be wherever they are needed, for as long as they are needed, indeed until life reaches its natural end. At that point, those who die in Christ live in a new reality. ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ (Revelation 21: 3–4) The Bible repeatedly underlines God’s ongoing and steadfast care for his people. He is always with us and he, in Christ, has shown us the most excellent way of extravagant love. His continuing care is assured to the end!

Written by Andrew Fergusson from the UK

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