A letter from our Rector …
We have now been able to hold weekly Sunday services in church throughout September. Despite restrictions we have managed to safely accommodate all those who chose to attend. It was such a joy and comfort to hear the bells ring out for the first time after so many months of being silent. The observation of restrictions paled into insignificance against the sheer delight of being back together and able to enjoy worship and fellowship once more. This sense of normality has become a tonic and a blessing and we pray that this may continue.
What has dampened my spirit in recent weeks is the divide we see across our society. People refusing to observe the law because of their freedom. Democracy is not a natural state, it is a cooperative based upon Christian values where the majority sacrifice some of their freedoms for the security and freedom of the majority. As we head towards November and the annual reflection on war and personal sacrifice, we are reminded that things could be worse and that many made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Whatever our beliefs, this cannot be denied.
As people refuse to cooperate, we see a clear divide; those who care about others and those who only care about themselves. In Matthew’s gospel we read about the sheep and the goats. It is a demonstration of judgement by God at the end of time. People will be separated into two groups, those who cared and helped others and those who did not. It could not be clearer; if we care about other people then we receive God’s reward. If we only think of ourselves, we are cast out from God’s presence.
Surely, lockdown has taught or reminded us that helping others is rewarding in a way that money cannot buy. We were created for relationship with God and with each other. Most people would agree that what is best in their lives are the people they care about and the joy that those relationships bring. Please pray for those who are blinded by their own selfishness. The threat they present will not bring freedom but the
opposite as the authorities respond. We, the majority of loving and caring people, value our freedom too and find it through the love and respect of others. Let us appeal to God that the darker days of autumn are not replicated within our hearts.