July 2020

You don’t need me to say that we are still in the middle of COVID-19, even if shops and other establishments are now open and there has been a degree of easing. It’s not over yet.

The effects of the virus have been random and far reaching. Jobs lost, pay cut, and working hours severely reduced have been part of the high cost. And despite the government’s unprecedented intervention, there are many who have still slipped through the net and are feeling the pinch.

And then there has been the social isolation, the loneliness, the bereavement, the inability to celebrate lives lost with proper funerals.

My heart goes out to all who have been affected adversely by the virus. What I do know is that a spirit of neighbourliness in our villages has never been more necessary or more evident.

Recently I have been reading the gospel of Luke – a short passage every morning – and trying to reflect on its meaning for us. One of the things that Luke is very keen to show us is how God comes to us in the middle of our ordinary daily lives. He comes for example to disciples who are cleaning their nets. And he wants to take our everyday world and weave into it another world, another reality – the kingdom of heaven.

Amid the stresses and struggles, and the fears and waitings of our everyday lives, Jesus wants to be present as the person and place where earth and heaven meet, with a care for the least and the lost. This is the hallmark of the whole Christian gospel as Luke presents it, and I read it with a great sense of encouragement.

I hope that this most unusual of summers can be one in which God comes to you.

With every blessing,