You may have heard of new law surrounding the keeping of personal data- I’ve certainly been receiving numerous emails urging me to sign up giving consent for my contact details to be kept by companies I had forgotten I’d ever ordered anything from. It’s going to have implications for us as a church – which will no doubt lead to more paperwork, and forms to be signed giving me consent to keep people’s names and addresses. Companies of course can simply delete the data from their lists if consent to keep it is denied, though quite how I can obliterate from my mind that someone I actually know lives in various houses I pass as I wander around the village has yet to be explained. That’s the difference between being a name on a list of customers to an impersonal organisation, and being part of a real relationship. I’m reminded of God’s words to the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, assuring them and us that we are so much more to him than a name on a list:
15 Can a woman forget her nursing-child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;