I wonder how the Prime Minister’s announcement this past week that new Covid restrictions will be in place for the whole country for the next six months has left you feeling? Disillusioned? Despairing? Downhearted? I can well understand if you are feeling any of those things at present, as we have to contend with our own local restrictions in addition. It’s not an easy time for anyone, including those of us who are Christians who have to live with restrictions on how we worship. So, what might our faith have to say to us at present?
Firstly, let us remember that God is with us through whatever we may have to face in life, including coronavirus. As Paul puts it in Romans chapter eight, ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
Secondly, we are a people of hope. Not a facile optimism, but a hope that is grounded in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A hope that can sustain us even through the darkest times. As Psalm 33 puts it, ‘We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield’.
Thirdly, we are invited to share the good news of God’s love for us and the hope Jesus gives us with others. Have you thought about inviting a friend, neighbour, family member or work colleague who may be finding life difficult at present to come to church with you or to join one of our online services? Numbers are obviously restricted in our buildings at present but the Christian faith is not restricted to those who currently attend. It is for everyone in our communities – all are welcome, and welcomed by God.
So as we move through this autumn into what could feel like a long hard slog in the months ahead, let’s not despair but rather ‘delight in the Lord’ as Psalm 37 puts it. For by placing our hope in Him, we can find the strength we need to face whatever lies ahead.
Take care and stay safe.
With my best wishes and prayers.
Pioneer Team Rector