by Revd Malcolm Shaw
In early March life seemed to be going along so sweetly, we were just getting into what to a good lent course, and our Sunday worship services during Lent were leading us along the path to a glorious Easter. Yes, we had all heard of the Coronavirus but it seemed so far off and I for one never expected that we would have to be isolated, locked away from the rest of society for three months. That the unthinkable act of not sharing Easter with like-minded Christians in worship, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ would ever happen . Then we started to hear some of the horrendous facts and details of nearly 1,000 deaths per day on the news briefings that came out every day, and the greed of some people who stripped the supermarket shelfs of toilet rolls. If you were like me you may have wondered where was all this going to end.
It was at this point that I began to see the sign of the rainbow appearing in windows, just child like drawings but rainbows never the less, and I was reminded of the promise that God made us when he first gave the sign of the rainbow. That He would never again destroy his people, I was reminded of a verse from Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight .and realised that I had let all the bad things that I was seeing and hearing cause me to have doubt and weaken my faith. Then I was also reminded of Christ crossing the sea of Galilee in the storm Matthew 8:26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
It was at this point that I began to see the stories of captain Tom Moore who raised 32million for the NHS staff, of people volunteering to take food and medication round to those that could not get out and many other selfless acts of kindness. It had been so easy without the regular feed of communal worship and meeting with likeminded people for the worry and doubt to creep in. We have to guard against this and what I have found over the past three months is that I have had more time for an idle mind to wonder away. Most of us have spent time during the lock down doing all the jobs round the house or painting and decorating that has been needed for many months, but how many of us have spent some of that idol time looking after our spiritual lives with more time in prayer or bible reading?
We will return to our more usual patterns of life, our regular worship and meeting together, but only when it is safe to do so. In the mean time look after your spiritual lives just as much as your physical lives and keep yourself safe so that when the time comes, we can once again enjoy each other’s company in worship at St Marys and St Luke’s.