As we are facing another lockdown which will start on Thursday, 5th November, I thought that I would share a few thoughts.
Firstly the restrictions are not as drastic as the first lockdown but will affect our church life considerably.
Secondly we must always remember that the priority for all of us is to keep safe and free from the virus, and protect others.
Thirdly we need to maintain our connections with each other.
Fourthly we need to look for some fresh new ways to support each other pastorally and spiritually.
I am very pleased to be part of a circuit where we share good practice and share experience. We need to learn from each other and copy new ways of being church. It is vital that we pray for Holy Spirit to guide us in new ways and be open to following the lead of Holy Spirit.
Yesterday I made a new vlog on youtube called ‘I am a Fool for Christ.’ Why? I realise that one of my strengths is that I am often able to make light of situations when it is necessary. My glass is usually half full, thank God I am an optimist. Consequently I am happy to make a fool of myself, like yesterday, when I put on a bright yellow wig and bright feather boa – I knew that it would surprise those tuning in and possible make them laugh. This doesn’t mean that I am making light of Covid 19 or the serious illness that it causes, tragically leading to too many deaths. It means that in spite of Covid 19 I will do my best to brighten a gloomy day and really try to cheer people up. There is a ministry of encouragement to be done and I will do it. There may be days when I need encouragement but this will come, it always does. I get an email or card or something which picks me up and sets me on the right path again. I am really blessed to have a wonderful family and smashing friends who know me well, and support me well too.
One email which I received today came from Karen who has given me permission to include her own thoughts on the internet. Here it is:
We, through knowing Jesus can trust and rely on God; He holds our future and cares for each one of us. We are His children, His love for us immeasurable, but still sometimes we allow doubts to rise. We worry, fear for family and ourselves. However spiritual we profess to be, we remain human, and unfortunately we find it difficult not to listen to all the negativity in the media, the spread of the virus, job losses etc. After all, how often have you heard of the numbers of people that recover from this virus, the new jobs being made, new factories and shops opening? It hasn’t been very often.
If we take too much notice of the media life will not seem to be worth living! There are positive things happening around us all the time, people are so innovative, always thinking of ways to overcome difficulties, finding alternative ways of doing things or coming up with improvements.
Deflect the negative – seek the positive! We should not allow ourselves to become despondent but look forward with anticipation and hope. (I know, easier said than done for many of us, myself included!) So today it was dark, wet and gloomy; you know, tomorrow could be much brighter, and dry. We will want to go out, and get things done. So Look towards tomorrow with hope; where does our hope come from? From the Lord himself. (Psalm 6 v 5 – 8)
Being like Jesus, we too can be ‘over-comers’. It is not in our nature to give up, just as God never given up on us; He is with us in every situation we face, this was His promise to the Israelites, and remains true today. Jesus, the same yesterday as He is today and will be for all our tomorrows. (Hebrews 13 v 8 paraphrased) Let Jesus be our guide, friend and comforter. He is so close to us, only a prayer away.
Do you see? This is an example of how God connects us and through others we are uplifted, encouraged. I hope this encourages you too. Bye for now, Rev Alison