LETTER FROM A MINISTER

We are not alone


AS I AM PREPARING THIS LETTER FOR FEBRUARY, we have once again been put into lockdown. And as we all did last year, we have to alter how we do things. Life is not the same. For some of us this is more difficult as we have other considerations, a change of work patterns, a return to home schooling maybe, and routines changed yet again. There are also the changes to our social lives: being unable to mix with family and friends as we would like, and sadly the loneliness that comes with isolation. We must also remember all those whose lives have been turned upside down and inside out by contracting Covid-19, and those families who have lost loved ones. 

The pause button has again been pressed, and we have time to ponder on what has occurred over the past year. I am well aware that many people found positives emerging out of what could be perceived as a negative time. Personally I was able to get my house in order. Literally! Having moved house the previous year I found I had more time to unpack the last of the boxes and decide what it was I actually needed, or was I just bringing baggage along for the sake of it. Sometimes we need to stop before we can move forward. We need to rest and draw strength from what is around us. 

I enjoyed long walks over Bury Field during what we must admit was a glorious summer. I witnessed the change of seasons, glorious sunrises and sunsets, the silence all around during the first few weeks of lockdown when very few cars were moving on the roads, an almost empty M1, and how blue the sky was with the absence of aircraft trails. 

I was very aware of a sense of stability as I looked around and took in the familiar views of the surrounding countryside. I had embarked on a virtual cycle ride to Dublin, by cycling round the local area. I was constantly struck by the feeling that this had all happened before, and indeed the current situation will pass. The old village churches had no doubt seen many such troubled times over the centuries, and still stand tall, mellowed by the passage of time.

Many of you will recall Julian of Norwich. She lived during the time of the Black Death in the mid 14th century and wrote: 

“All shall be well, 

and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” 

By the time you read this letter it will be February and of course I don’t know what the situation will be then. One thing I can be sure of is that we are not alone as we journey through this time of uncertainty. We have Christ to walk along side us, of that we are assured. 

Behold I am with you always, even to the end of time.” 

[Matthew 28:20]

 

Eva Bangle,

Elder, Newport Pagnell United Reformed Church 

 

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