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A life worth living

What is a life worth living? This question was raised a week ago in a newspaper article. “Nobody has yet modelled the diminution of joy caused by lock-down... (An older man with a health problem may be) willing to encompass risk for that which he holds dear, for he values joy more than actuarial life expectancy... Remember that preserving life isn’t the same as living life, a distinction that goes to the heart of being human..” (Syed in Sunday Times 3rd May). The article lists all the sorts of social and communal things which we would normally be involved in, but which now are forbidden.

A week later there was a letter from a correspondent supporting this attitude. A 70+ lady who is reckoned to be extremely vulnerable because of multiple health issues has nevertheless recently done adventurous things (hiked in the Andes, tracked snow leopards in Siberia, been wild camping in the Sudan, etc). Now she is on lock-down. If this is extended she feels that would be the kiss of death. “Preserving life at any cost would make life not worth living” she writes.


I don’t want to minimise the issues, but I sympathise with the drift of the argument. We all know of – and probably see – cases where life is preserved but is hardly worth living (regardless of Covid). But let me stick to my main point: life IS about living! John 10:10 has Jesus say: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.


So my question is: what do you understand by “abundant life”? I’ll give you a clue. I don’t think it’s particularly about winning the lottery or even going on a world cruise.


NOT THIS!

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United Benefice of Leighton-cum-Minshull Vernon and St. Leonard's Church, Warmingham

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