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If someone had told us in February how 2020 would work out, would we have believed them?
Personally, I’d like to say ‘yes’ but it wouldn’t be true. I’m grateful to those who saw the situation more clearly and helped us all to be safer than we might otherwise have been. The challenges aren’t going away and we all need to decide how to respond. Change in some form is inevitable.
The Bible is full of stories of people coping with change. Abram and his family setting out in faith, Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery, Noah and the ark, disciples leaving everything to follow Jesus, the tumultuous events of what we now call Holy Week, the arrival of the Holy Spirit like fire and wind sweeping through people’s lives, the early church and the resistance and persecution they faced as they spread the good news of the gospel.
With foundational stories like these, how has the church come to be so often seen as the safe option, all about tradition? There is nothing wrong with good traditions but often they change, whether through choice or necessity.
World headlines – climate change, Covid-19, refugees, racism, the economy, political strife.
Personal headlines – mental health, physical health, unemployment, relationship issues, bereavement.
Church headlines – shrinking congregations, stretched resources, underused buildings, not enough ministers to go round.
Not so often in the headlines – all the care and kindness. Going not just one but many extra miles. The willingness to do what is needed when we see it can really make a difference. Hopefully we can keep doing that, doing it more, helping our neighbours far and wide, and ourselves in the process. In and through all, God is with us. God who is Love. Love which can help us be part of the solutions. Love for all the world.
Reverend Liz Gibson, Lochdon, Isle of Mull.