01 Apr Vicars’ Blog April 2020 – Church at home and in the community
How are you doing with ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS and Save lives’ because of the Corona virus? That anthem which has become a new normal for us all. It is interesting that all this has happened during Lent. Many of us give up things for Lent, but we didn’t think we would be giving up travelling to work, expectation of good health, social contact and shopping. We realise we have taken for granted simple things like meeting with friends, family and gathering in church.
We want to praise and thank all those who are working so hard to keep us fed and healthy and we wholeheartedly endorse the applause to thank medical staff and the NHS. Our hearts go out to all those who are suffering from the Covid-19 virus and those who are anxious about it or about one of the economic side effects of this sickness rampaging through our world. Sometimes it seems more fiction than fact and we wonder if we are going to wake up and find it was all a dream.
Jesus must have felt very much like that on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, when he chose to give his life for us. It is like Friday today, but we know that Sunday is coming! Easter is coming, and we look forward to celebrating the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death, because we know that in the end Life Wins. Life Wins in the future when we will go to be with the Lord and there will be no more tears or crying or pain. And Life Wins now, because we have the peace, comfort and presence of God here with us now in the messiness of our lives. It’s Friday, But Sunday is coming!
There are good things coming out of this change in lifestyle: the environment is in a better state; families are able to spend more time together and as Christians we have gone back to basics reading the Bible, praying and meeting in our homes virtually rather than gathering in a church building, very much as the early Christians did for three hundred years. It is great to hear stories of how many of you are helping those who are most vulnerable at this time by doing shopping and helping with computers. And to hear how many of you are calling or receiving calls just to keep in touch with one another. It seems that the church is at work from behind closed doors showing God’s love in our community in practical and spiritual ways.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.”
This is our verse that goes with our Vison and it has never been more relevant than in these times. We suddenly feel more of a local community and there are great opportunities to support one another in the church family and our physical neighbours. Our faith is suddenly more relevant too as we live without complete control over going out, what food we can buy, and over our finances. In this situation we simply have to trust God. We bring to him daily our fears about our health and the health of loved ones and the words from the Bible seem so relevant. God is faithful and he will never let us down. We can bring everything to God in prayer, and he will use us as people of faith to bring hope to those around us. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1
May God bless us all with perseverance in faith and love towards others in this unexpected season. May we look ahead with faith and confidence in our risen Lord Jesus. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!
Blessings and a Very Happy Easter!