What keeps us going in life is hope. Hope in God or perhaps simply making it to the next milestone in
our plans. Surely, it has to be hope that has kept us focused throughout lockdown: that is certainly
the case for me. I am in a unique position of moving to the area and after nearly a whole year am
still to meet many of you and enjoy the many activities in our community. My hope lies in seeing our
community flourish post Covid restrictions.
Opposite my home is the ‘Lads’ Club’ in Saltwood. Two weeks ago, builders began the extensive
refurbishment of the whole building. A building that has played a part in the lives of everyone who
lives or grew up in Saltwood and also the surrounding area. It is not simply that the building will
soon be available for use and therefore allowing the many activities that bring people together,
though I am very much looking forward to that, it is the reassurance that things always move
forward. Whatever our circumstances the world does not stop spinning and wait for us. Our hope is
therefore encouraged that things will not remain as they are, especially when things are not good.
In Romans 8:24b it says:
But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
We cling to the hope in what is to come, the things that we desire for our lives. Our experience of
Covid has given us a new hope, a hope in what we once had but have had to go without. We desire a
return to the things we love and cherish. For me this reveals a new dimension to our hope. A desire
to return to what we had that is now combined with a desire that things will be better than before. A
richer focus that encompasses a deeper appreciation of what, or who, matters in our lives. Few can
claim that Covid has not caused them to at least ponder on the priorities in their life and the value of
the time spent doing those things we enjoy or being with those we love.
The ‘new normal’ as it has become known, is our ‘new hope’. We desire the things we once had that
are now re-established on a new foundation of revised values.