One of my favourite authors Terry Pratchett liked to use the quote ‘May you live in interesting times……’
Who could have expected 2020 to lead us into such interesting times. Strange times, sad times, lonely times and yet sometimes joyful times with unexpected pleasures. I wonder how are you doing in these interesting times?
My household is quite full - my eldest is back from Uni and so there are 7 of us living together and working together. Home schooling is happening. I am not sure it would rate an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ or even ‘Good’, but attempts are being made.
Each person in the house is reacting differently to the interesting times.
Nat aged 13 is living his best life. He is an introvert and though he likes people, he doesn't need them - socialising at school can be very wearing. For him this is perfect - when he needs contact he can initiate it via Zoom or WhatsApp - for the rest of the time he can be in his room reading and studying.
For Jem aged 12 this has been a very different experience. He loves his friends and he misses them deeply. He gets frustrated by being in the same space, but hates having to keep 2 metres away from everyone if we go out: it makes him feel weird.
Tom, 16 has had to deal with the sorrow of not doing his GCSEs, Molly has had to end Uni early, Eliza misses her friends but loves playing with her brothers and poor Ali has had to pretty much take the weight of all it and look after a poorly wife.
For me it has been really frustrating; my Facebook twitter and Instagram feed are full of people baking banana bread, learning piano, taking beautiful walks, studying theology and so on. As I have been ill for most of the lock down, having COVID19 which was followed by pneumonia, I have done pretty much nothing. This is not my natural state - I had a lot of plans but have had to realise that all I can do is rest.
I wonder how you are finding lockdown?
The wonderful thing is that as Christians we don’t face any of our trials or our joys alone. It has been much said that we are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat - but to mix metaphors a bit we can all stand firm on the same rock. Jesus told the incredible parable of the two houses built, one on sand, one on rocks. The one on sand disintegrates in the storm while the one built on rocks survives.
Both houses face the storm.
We are all facing a storm at the movement but we can plant our feet firmly on the rock of our faith and know that we are not doing it alone. When Jesus went up to heaven He said “I will be with you always to the end of the age”. Jesus is with us - in the good days and the bad.
I pray that for all of us our faith will grow, and I am expectant of the time when the storm passes and we can mourn our sorrows and celebrate being back together with those that we love.
We are very much looking forward to moving to Leadon Vale. At the moment we are not sure when that will be; but the packing boxes are being filled and we are ready! I can’t wait to meet you all and learn more about the beautiful communities of the Benefice. It will be a different start to my ministry than I had expected, but in these interesting times I have faith that God is here and has a plan for His church. It will be exciting to work out together what that is.
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