During the next few weeks, if everything goes according to plan, we shall make great strides out of lockdown. The Government hopes that on June 21st it will be in a position to lift all legal limits on social contact.
I think it probable that the majority of us will still err on the side of caution, rather than joining a rave in the docklands, but being able to interact with friends again will be very welcome. I think many of us will be in for a few surprises.
Recently I was in the church halls when two families I know from Toast club arrived for a treasure hunt. One child, I know fairly well, I didn’t recognise. A second child from a family of three with his back to me I thought was the older middle child; it was the youngest child who seems to have had an extraordinary growth spurt.
There are several people I have spoken to regularly by phone but haven’t seen; how have they, and I, changed in the past year? Regardless of the physical changes, many of us will have changed in ways that cannot be seen: hopefully for the good but perhaps some have struggled more than they imagined they would.
I’ve always been comfortable with my own company, but I’m conscious of missing the regular social interaction of normal times. I hadn’t realised how much information I gleaned from those casual chats when walking in the village and bumping into someone and catching up on bits of news. So much seems to happen through casual interaction which has been missing over the last year.
As we move forward we need to look out for one another; what’s it going to be like to have a full church again. Are we looking forward to it, or dreading it?
As we look to the future our confidence in One who cannot be shaken should give us peace; but we are frail creatures and even when we know with our heads we need not fear, somehow the message doesn’t get to our hearts. Some words from Psalm 34 & 121 to encourage us.
“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.”
“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.”
Heavenly Father, there are some of our friends who have suffered ill health over the past year, others have lost loved ones. Some are struggling with anxiety and depression. Many of us feel we have managed well during this time, others continued working as usual. We pray for each other that in the coming weeks we will come together as a family; supporting, loving, encouraging one another. May your blessing be upon each of us, and our families as we move forward, together. Amen