I wrote the words which follow, on the 12th March, as a reflection for our AGM. They are still as relevant today as they were then
We are living in unprecedented times. Changes on the national stage which we may have assumed would have only a peripheral affect on our lives, have been eclipsed by the very real (and personal) concerns over the potential impact of the Corona virus.
As I write these words, the Government’s Emergency Committee are meeting to decide what steps must be taken to contain the outbreak. What began as a localised problem in a far off city many of us had never heard of, has now become an international pandemic.
We’re all involved, in the sense that this is not something that just happens to other people. There’s some very good advice around (we’ll keep you up to date with it where we can) but there is also a great deal of worry and concern.
As I was praying this morning, I wondered what might bring both a wider perspective and a deeper reassurance at this time of national need. My thoughts turned to Jesus’ words to His friends at a similar time of uncertainty:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled…. (John 14:27)
Peace is what we need at this moment. Peace to be able to hand everything over to God. Peace about the practical measures we can take to keep ourselves and others safe. Peace that says whatever happens, we can be sure that we aren’t on our own.
Jesus’ words remind us that help is here even in darkest days. When we have exhausted our own resources, God has so much more to give.
God’s peace may not change our immediate circumstances but it will help us to view them in a very different light. This gift reminds us that, irrespective of what is going on around us, wherever we are and whatever we feel like, we are both precious to, and are loved by, God.
At the beginning of the year, none of us could have anticipated the particular circumstances we would find ourselves in today. Our motto text for 2020 invites us to set an example to others – let’s do just that: let’s seek and share the peace and love of God, as we support those in need.