How do we think carefully and yet creatively, critically and most of all faithfully in this time of lock-down, regarding God’s mission? Has it been shoved to one side as we choose inward looking and looking after those we care for and ourselves?
How does our faith inform our lives, in this new time of quietness. Covid-19 has been described as a quiet storm. It is unseen and yet causes havoc. One person commented that the more this goes on the less inclined to going out they become. There are positives – it is a communal shutting of doors and so camaraderie has been evidenced. In all places there have been efforts to get together and stay apart. There have been superhuman efforts to keep those most vulnerable safe and well.
A few days before lock down and due to my own stupidity I was buying a phone, the shop was shutting, the staff losing their jobs. A woman came in looking for mobile phone for some homeless people so they could be invited to pick up meals, organise showers etc., keeping distant but being cared for.
But what of the church? How many times do we have to hear love your neighbour to actually point our lives in that direction? In this uncertain time when babies are due, operations postponed, people out of work, businesses shutting, self-isolation, loneliness, pain, grief, losing loved ones. When the whole gamut of human life continues in microcosm, where is the church?
Take the Spanish doctor, who contracted Covid-19 and recovered. On return he rang every patient to check in with them. That is loving your neighbour. This crisis is a time when we could think about what we can do without, a time to stop counting assets and count blessings instead, a time to be grateful for all we have, a time to be generous, a time to consider living with less, a time to give away, a time to live lightly.
The virus has forced us to stop. But how we stop is our choice. The external efforts of the church will be more well received than in ordinary times. There is a hunger out there for something of God. The attention of the people is becoming heavenward as they search for meaning. As people walk and notice buds blossom, and insects eat, birds nibble and small animals frolic they are asking why? And not just why but how and where and most importantly who?
We lived in a world that was over-consumed, over-travelled, over-lived. We were so busy like ants backwards and forwards and getting nowhere fast. Exhausted but unable to sleep, to switch off from the monotony of our existence.
My hope is that post-pandemic we will have all learned something of the compassion of Jesus, of the wisdom of scripture, the lovingkindness of God, and that through the Holy Spirit we can all remember that breath is a privilege.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:1-5
What new thing is stirring in you right now? What could we do together, though we are apart?