So here we are, one year since the day the Prime Minister announced
the imposition of “Lockdown One” as it has come to be known.
There weren’t many people that day who had any real idea of the disaster which was about to unfold across the world – nor of the appalling death toll Covid 19 would inflict upon the population. The loss of more than 126,000 lives in Britain alone is a tragedy of monumental proportions and it’s becoming clear that although the numbers are coming down at the moment, the virus hasn’t finished with us yet.
It must be said that all other considerations come way behind the dreadful loss of life – and we must never forget the immense and enduring pain felt by those who have lost loved ones, friends and neighbours to Covid – but the pandemic has also wrought havoc on our national life in other ways…ways in which everyone in the country has been affected.
The damage inflicted on our national life – on the NHS, the economy, employment, industry, retail, leisure, education, the arts and sport – has been incalculable. Covid has messed up our work, our social lives, our holiday plans. It’s damaged our mental health, our relationships, our wellbeing.
We hate wearing masks, keeping our distance and not being able to do what we want to do and go where we want to go.
All this wouldn’t, perhaps, seem quite so bad if the world was pulling together in the face of a common enemy – but that’s sadly very far from the case.
In fact, tensions between nations seem to be growing by the day - with the development of new and terrible weapons and the threat of international terrorism and cyber-warfare. Add in worldwide issues of prejudice, discrimination, poverty, inequality, economic migration, and the denial of basic human rights and freedoms to millions. And then there’s climate change…
There’s no denying that the world is in an awful mess right now – it’s a pretty dark and dismal place at the moment and it’s hard not to despair for our future.
Yet into all that darkness and despair shines a light.
The light of the Easter message…
It speaks of the hope that good can come from even the worst situation.
It speaks of the hope that beyond death there can be resurrection.
It speaks of the hope that this world and all its trials are not the whole story.
It speaks of the hope that love, service, sacrifice are never in vain.
It speaks of the hope that – against all the odds – even one single person
can make a difference…can change the world for the better and for ever.
The world needs hope now more than ever…and hope is God’s gift to us all
in the story of the passion, death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ.
So…in spite of it all…Happy Easter Everyone!