Rector’s Letter 28 March 2020
I was woken early on Tuesday morning by foxes knocking over a planter and triggering the security light, but this enabled me to see the glimmering of the dawn and stand in awe at the sunset, whilst being serenaded by a magnificent dawn chorus. Having returned to bed praising God and thanking him for his creation, for a new day, and for his generosity, I was surprised to be overwhelmed by a huge wave of sadness.
On reflection I realised that I was mourning for the fact that I was shortly to be going to church to put notices up to say that the building is closed. Yes, I know that the church is far more than the building, but that building has offered, for many centuries, a place of sanctuary and serenity in troubled times. We have kept the building open in these weeks of this crisis, and church-goers and those who we might only see at Christmas, have come in to pray, to drop off items for the Foodbank, or to seek comfort. When the world seems threatening it can be easier for some to encounter God in a sacred space.
It is okay to mourn, to feel anger, fear, confusion...everything has changed very quickly and it is normal to feel unsettled, as though the very axis of your life has shifted. But remember that God is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. He has promised that he will neither leave us nor forsake us, and he is unshakeable.
Mourn for a while, and then dry your tears and look around to see what God is doing in the world, because there are signs of life, abundant life. Rest in God in prayer, and your peace will be restored. And we do need to spend more time resting, all the uncertainty and change is tiring. As one Dad emailed earlier this week ‘we are enjoying a slower pace of life and having more time with our children’. And one of the many positives to come out of all of this is that the pollution levels have fallen exponentially . . .what is that telling us?
I hope that tomorrow, Sunday, you will join in with worshipping with your usual congregation at the 8am, 9am or 10.45 service. Or, as some did last week, also join in with worship at one of the later services (I must confess the sermon is the same at all three). You might then want to post pictures of you uniting in worship (showing a clock in the background)...I’m wondering how many will have forgotten the clocks go forward, or will use the opportunity to worship in comfort and do so in their pyjamas!
?You might also like to post to our Facebook page photos of you ‘being at school’ or ‘working from home’, and tell us what has made you chuckle this week.
With love in Christ, Susie