Some thoughts from Canon Judy!
Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, has now become Stay alert, Control the virus, Save lives. It marks a change, but for many of us the new strap line doesn’t change much.
I wonder how our new guidelines are reflected in faith situation and how much our faith reflects the guidelines, to care for one another.
Staying alert is important. Becoming complacent can be a recipe for disaster; populations may run pell-mell off the cliff like proverbial lemmings – because ‘everyone does it’ appears to make an attitude or behaviour acceptable.
The ‘stay at home’ policy has resulted in a massive improvement of air quality in cities; wild-life has returned in unexpected places; even our ocean living creatures have benefitted. Why did it take Covid-19 to make absolutely clear what damage the current way of life and expectations have on the planet. The prophets have been issuing warnings, sadly unheeded. But now it is clear. Stay alert.
The call to Stay Alert is hoped to minimise the risk of a second spike of infections for the greater good of everyone, it reflects a desire to care (love) one another.
The pandemic has made abundantly clear humanity’s inter-dependence around the globe from the desperate attempts of countries to source proper, safe protection for their people; and the lengths some will go to obtain it; the work that drive others to find a vaccine.
It is absolutely clear the impact humanity can have on our fragile world, for good or ill. We all need to stay alert.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday, a familiar funeral reading (Jn.14.1-14), Jesus gives the example of God’s house with many rooms; plenty of space for all who would come and stay! Thomas was missing his sat-nav; Philip wanted photo ID of the Father: I wonder if Jesus was not exasperated with these poor disciples as he must be with many of us!
We have the guidelines to help stay alert; to love God and to love one another. To avoid those things which tempt or divert from the good, which cause us to stumble instead of focusing on Jesus, the Christ, the shepherd, the gate. Our guidelines are not so much rules that must be obeyed, as a response to God’s love for humanity and all creation.
We need to stay alert to the presence of Christ in our communities shown by the acts, however small, of kindness and compassion, self-effacing duty and generosity by people of faith (any faith) and those who don’t espouse any faith at all, even by the pricks of conscience as we reach for something we don’t need.
Christ can be still be seen through others if we stay alert, with wisdom to perceive him, diligence to seek him, patience to wait for him, eyes to behold him, and a heart to meditate on him. Then may we proclaim him by living in the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.