From the Associate Priest - 20th May 2020

As I write this I am conscious that tomorrow is the day we celebrate The Ascension of Christ. The day that the disciples saw Jesus for the very last time on this earth, the day they truly and finally had to accept that they faced the world without his physical presence, his care, his leadership. They felt as if God Himself had left the world.

Today, in real time, many people are asking the question “Where is God in all this?” Our world as we know it has been turned, if not actually upside down, at least somewhat off its axis. Lockdown has meant such a change in our daily pattern, such a curtailment of our liberties, such a disruption of normal life that we truly wonder just what it means and when, or indeed if, life will return to ‘normal’. Some are certainly asking if this pandemic is a punishment or warning sent by God to test or to teach us a lesson, whilst many more are questioning how a Loving God could let this happen if he truly exists.

All of these are valid questions, very much like the disciples on that day roughly 2,000 years ago, we are crying out for some proof that God has not deserted us, that He is a loving God who really cares what happens to us.

Apart from the very real fear of contracting the virus itself the main concern and frustration we all feel is that curtailment of our liberties. ‘Stay at Home’ meant we could not leave our own front doors, or gateway. “Stay Alert” means that more can go beyond that barrier but only under certain circumstances and with many precautions in place. Our lives truly are very different from what they were less than three short months ago, and more and more we realise they may never be quite the same again. We value that independence, that freedom to go our own way, to govern our own lives and bitterly resent that loss. God is like any loving parent, right from the beginning He gave humankind the freedom to choose their path. He did not impose His will and make it impossible to deny or disobey Him. The result is that we have often made a complete mess of things but, the mess is of our own making, the result of our own mismanagement. But, like any loving parent, He is always there to give comfort, to help pick up the pieces and to encourage us to continue. He does not cause disasters, He is there to help us overcome them. If we will just let Him we shall find Him right there in the midst of the difficulties and the frustrations, the sorrow and the loss. Just give Him a chance and let Him in. What have you got to lose?

June Lane