My husband was given a cheese-making kit for his birthday – ‘all you need to make your own cheese’ (apart from the milk).
Never one to refuse a challenge, he set to, and so far has made mozzarella – with some success – and feta. The feta cheese took four days to make, and we decided we would have to eat it with the greatest respect. Which we did.
It made me think: we take so much for granted.
Our supermarket shelves are stacked with all the cheese, among other things, we need, and as we were reminded at the beginning of lockdown, we have no need to panic buy – there is enough for everyone.
We also take people for granted: those who provide our services. Over the past few months we have been aware of all who have continued to work and to keep us going during these strange times. Not only in the NHS, but ordinary people, doing their everyday jobs.
So who are the greatest? Jesus’ disciples argued over this question – more than once. What did Jesus say to quell the argument? ‘He who is least among you is the greatest (Luke 9:43) and ‘The greatest among you must be like the youngest and the leader must be like the servant… I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:26-27).
In the story f the sheep and the goats, the Lord reminds people that whatever they did, or (did not do) to help even the least of people, they were helping (or not) the Lord himself. (see Matthew 25:31-44 for the whole story).
If we have learnt anything over the past few months – and I think we have – it is to value all work, even the most menial, and all people, even those paid the least. Let us hope this a lesson never to be forgotten as we return to whatever may be the new normal.
Remember, feta cheese takes four days to make!
Rosi Morgan-Barry, local preacher from Wokingham Methodist Church, writing on behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham