We do well to hear God’s Word in Ephesians 4:2 through the coming weeks. Coming out of a series of lockdowns will be disorienting. Many people are struggling with their general wellbeing. It’s exciting for many and good for all of us that society is becoming more social again, but we will need to be careful……… not so much about the continuing vigilance with the virus (although there is that), but more about showing care for others. We need to be full of caring.
Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This teaching was written to address the need for the Christians in Ephesus to treat one another very well in testing times, as it continues “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Lent started on Ash Wednesday 17th February. For Christians, observing Lent is very different in lockdown.
Before lockdown, Lent might be about choosing which of our many freedoms to choose to limit. During lockdown, our choices are much more limited anyway. Since our freedom is severely curtailed by our cooperation with the authorities in seeking to limit the spread of the virus, there is much less scope for choosing to give things up………..
So instead let’s focus on another much needed purpose for Lent. The seven weeks of Lent are most useful for establishing good self-disciplines.
Our vicar Canon Rob McLaren prepares us for a positive start to the New Year.
“We need help as we start this new year. Our nation needs our help. Our businesses and voluntary bodies need our help. Our health and education services need our help. Our families need it too. Like a tottering fence, the last thing we need is a coat of whitewash to hide the cracks, or whinging provocateurs seeking to further undermine us. There are challenges on a lot of levels for many of us and we need positive help…..”
Our vicar Canon Rob’s December letter to the parish at the start of Advent