written by the Rev Dr Roger Sturrock
It has been a month today that we have all been in ‘lock down’. The novelty of the situation is beginning to wear off and the government is being pressed to come up with an exit strategy. The daily briefings from the Westminster and Holyrood governments remind us of the grim statistics relating to Coronavirus deaths and the media report the self sacrifice being made by frontline workers in hospitals and care homes. There is now also a sharp focus on the effects of ‘lock down’ and social isolation on mental health. Apparently 1 in 15 of the population have general anxiety issues.
All of this could be very depressing but there are also good news stories of how folks are developing novel ways to cope with the lack of social interaction such as the two Italian teenagers playing roof top tennis – hitting a tennis ball from one block of flats to another! The weekly Thursday evening clapping to recognise the wonderful work of health care workers is bringing a new sense of community to local neighbourhoods! Churches across the world have experimented with novel ways of doing church using social media and are discovering that people not buildings are the centre of Christian worship. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is urging Christians to reflect on what constitutes the essentials of our faith and practice in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic!
A passage from the Old Testament came into my mind as I reviewed the events of the past week. It is from the book of Lamentations – not a very cheerful book but in the midst of the writer’s bleak analysis of his own and Israel’s situation he calls this to mind:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
As we hear and read about the individual acts of kindness shown by so many during this time of crisis we can thank God in Christ for the way in which he uses folks – whether people of faith or not to fulfil his purposes!
If you would like to join in for tea and a chat which takes place every Thursday at 4.00 pm via ZOOM, please contact the Rev Dr Roger Sturrock who will provide you with details of the link.