‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’
Oh that this year would end. Oh that God would come down and smite Coronavirus. Then maybe everybody would see that God answers our prayers. We would be able to gather as extended families and friends again. People could return to work, to school, to play. Then maybe God’s churches would be full of people praising God. Then maybe we could move on from this year in peace.
Of course life doesn’t work like that. God doesn’t work like that. We pray that God would save us. We pray for the scientists and civil servants trying to help us to stay safe. We pray for the NHS testing and tracing, we pray for the NHS staff caring for those suffering in the most awful ways from Coronavirus. And we pray for the people whose livelihoods are on the brink or have gone beyond it. But God doesn’t snap a pair of celestial fingers and make it all go away. God also doesn’t make these things to punish us. But God does stay with us and in the end God will meet us and bring us home.
In the meantime I know that God is there in each one of you.
God is there:
In your hands when you are caring for family or friends or strangers who are ill.
In your aching backs when you have brightened up the neighbourhood through hours of gardening.
In your patience as you sit with our children and teach them, creating environments where they can feel normal and safe, even when it can feel like it is the frontline of this disease.
God is there:
In your thoughtfulness when you ring one another to check in and chat.
In your loving kindness when you go out and get something for a friend who is isolating or alone.
In your concern for those who might not have enough to eat, driving you to take initiative to set up and support a food bank.
God is there:
In your anxiety as you pray for those who you cannot be near when they are sick.
In your stoic dealing with the challenges we face trying to maintain buildings and safe environments.
In your smiles which we can so rarely now see.
I thank God for each one of you. For by the grace of God you have received the love of God and share it with one another and the world. By God’s love you have each been shaped like a potter moulds the clay. In the fire of a pandemic we are matured like fired clay. As you wait on Christ he will strengthen you and enrich you to share that love of Christ in the way you live your lives. God has called you by name into his fellowship. Each one of you has received the grace of God. And each on of you is one of God’s beloved.
We all might wish we knew how and when this pandemic will end. We might all like to think we have the power to control it. But what we can be sure of is that God is among us, wherever we are. And that whatever will happen, God will be with us. As we spend this time of Advent in self-reflection, remember this:
That you are, each of you, fearfully and wonderfully made. You are made in God’s image – heirs with Christ – Children of light – Children of God. You are loved.
And I pray that you would know that love of God which passes all understanding, and that by that love the Spirit of God would rest upon you and prepare you in every way for what is to come in this life and the next. May this Advent be a time not of self-denial but of self-care, and of kindness. Amen.
The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams
8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School
Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10am
Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm
Please note that Public worship has been suspended, you can therefore participate in these services via Facebook live stream
John 20:19-end Thomas the TwinWeekly Services Sunday Mornings 8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School Weekday Services Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10amSaid Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00amEvening...
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