“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” (Isaiah 43.2)
I think all of us are feeling the weight of this second lockdown. We are tired of the uncertainty and either anxious about the upcoming month or feel slightly detached emotionally. Just when things were beginning to feel more ‘normal’ the rug has been pulled. In these moments, it’s hard to remain present as the current situation here and abroad can seem overwhelming. The river is running and we are being pulled along.
In his letter, Bishops Steven wrote; ‘we need to hold firmly to our faith and hope in Christ at this time and care for our communities with all the love which God supplies. We could well be entering the most difficult phase of the pandemic and many will be anxious and exhausted. The Church needs to be strong and, as much as we can, continue to be a light shining in the darkness..’
I think all this is true, whist the river is flowing and we may feel we have little control over what we hold onto. Our faith can keep us grounded and afloat. God is not only our light but also our Anchor and buoy. We will not be overwhelmed because we have God in the midst of us, holding us up. We will get through this and together, holding each other, so that when one feels too tired, those around can help. We will also learn that there are times when it’s ok to be still and just float on the water. We don’t always need to be kicking upstream or rushing to get to the end.
To help us shine as lights in our community we must make sure our lamps have oil, otherwise we will burn out. We will continue to be an active church in our Benefice and have online Live and pre-recorded services on our YouTube Channel, but do look at our Website.
Our church buildings will remain open for Private prayer throughout this month and there will be free resources (Prayer Books and a new Worship at Home booklet for late November and Advent). These will be available both digitally and as hard copies in our churches (can also be posted).
It’s important that we keep in touch. Either contact me, Alison our Administrator, or one of our Churchwardens, and in Marston we have the Prayer and Care Groups, so do speak to your leader.
Finally, as we journey on together with courage and compassion, we go in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirt.
Take care, Skye.
Revd Skye (Vicar for Marston & Elsfield) Ox 202988