Hello Sisters and Brothers
I wonder how you have been this week? There seems to be a shared sense of really mixed emotions, as we experience the second full week of 'lockdown', from sadness, anxiety, feeling unsettled, to being really tired and lethargic, alongside bursts of joy and expectation. You may also be feeling that the impact of the virus is coming closer to home, either because you know of people who are ill, who are dying, or whose ability to experience those rites and traditions of birth and death are being affected.
One of the canticles in Morning Prayer this week was "It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord". This really spoke to me as I grappled with wanting to do as much as I can, feeling guilty at feeling low, weeping for those who are bereaved and who cannot say goodbye as they so need to, as well as the confidence that I can trust in God's provision.
In God's time, this is such a short moment.
I have certainly had moments in my life where I wish I could jump forwards 6 months to know that whatever I was experiencing had been lived through - either that something had ended, or something begun, but that whichever of these it was had happened. We can look back and see where God has been faithful, and look forward and trust that God will provide, but it is often in the moment that God is most closely seeking to come alongside us, and reveal more about who He is, and who we are, in that sovereign light and love.
So as we continue on this pilgrimage, I really want to encourage you to find a separate space in your home, or a separate time in your day, to wait quietly, to be fully present, and honest, with how you are, and to invite God to be fully present with you.
We can continue to be church together, although separated by a physical distance, this need not be a spiritual separation. As we share in liturgy on Sunday mornings, or through using resources from the Church of England, we are reminded of the "one-ness" of our identity.
Next week we begin Holy Week. We can't wish away the journey to the cross. We can't wish away Good Friday. We will pilgrim together, and if you would like that to be a corporate journey, we will be sending out resources on Monday to guide you through the week.
I continue to hold our precious community before God, giving thanks for you, praying that we will each see beauty even in the challenges, and that we will know God's love in all that we experience.
Rev Becky Waring
Vicar St Martins Knowle
Area Dean Bristol South