A Changed World?
This week I would like to focus my reflections on transformation – either in terms of re-emerging into a world that has been profoundly changed or undergoing a period of change as an individual. The Bible is full of stories of such change so I thought it might be helpful if each day we focussed those passages in scripture that describe how God has led His people through those times and see if we can learn anything from them that may help us as we gradually begin to consider post lockdown life.
I appreciate that we are still at the very early stages of a return to what we previously considered normality. This past weekend has seen the re-opening of pubs, cafes, restaurants to say nothing of hairdressers and barbers – for some I know that it is the opportunity to have their hair cut that has been more important than a pint at their local or a professionally made coffee!
Most significantly we have seen the re-opening of places of worship for public services, following a brief period when we were able to offer our sacred spaces for private prayer and reflection. The amount of work required to ensure that we can once more open the doors to our church buildings cannot be underestimated and I am very thankful for the hard work of our churchwardens ( or venue managers as the Church of England guidance terms them!) and indeed many others that meant that yesterday we were able to hold services at St Andrew’s and Holy Cross.
Of course we didn’t just press re-wind and return to what we did prior to lockdown. The safety and protection of all who were able to come along is paramount and will remain so and as a result its’ worship but not as we know it!
Yet I hope that all those who were present as well as those who joined us via our livestream broadcast, experienced God in the quiet, more meditative way in which we gave glory to the Lord.
We are emerging from one season into another, but in the same way that creation’s seasons blend gently into each other so will the seasons of our worship and I would suggest that is not a bad thing. I would liken this time to the way in which a butterfly carefully and gradually emerges from the chrysalis that has kept it safe from danger whilst it has undergone its profound transformation from a caterpillar steadily crawling along the ground into a creature of beauty ready to fly high into the sunshine. We still need the protection of the cocoon as we slowly and carefully unfold our wings but we will fly high in worship again and all the while God will be with us.
Tomorrow we will begin our exploration of those stories from scripture that describe similar re-emergence but in the meantime I leave you with a poem by John Philip Newell which describes the opportunity that God gives us each day regardless of where we are
to the forgiveness of a new day.
to the freedom to begin again.
to the mercy of the sun’s redeeming light.
to the forgiveness of this new day”