Church of England Diocese of Sheffield Stannington

Thought for the week - reconnecting with God

30 Apr 2020, 7 p.m.
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Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s ‘thought for the week’. I hope you are well and are managing to cope during the strange times we continue to find ourselves in. As ever, if you are struggling in any way and need support with shopping, prescriptions, prayers or just someone to talk to; do let one of us know and we will endeavour to support you in whatever way we can.

So, this week, I’d just like to share with you some encouraging conversations I’ve had with a few people as they’ve given me a real lift and I hope that they will do the same for you too.

This pandemic has forced most of us to re-evaluate our lives, the things that are truly important to us. I have spoken to a few people recently who have said that the pandemic has acted like a filter which has enabled them to see life differently and given them fresh insights and perspectives. Personally, I do not believe that God is the source of this pandemic, it seems highly likely that this was yet again, humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. But I do believe, like all terrible crises, God is using this crisis as a way to reconnect with some of His people.

Allow me to share a few examples:

On Monday, a chap at foodbank told me he was really missing the services at Stanwood Methodist Church. He had been on a couple of occasions prior to the lockdown; but being forcibly removed from his new church family had shown him just how much he valued the human contact and the love he had experienced through corporate worship. He cannot wait to return!

Later that afternoon whilst delivering a food parcel in the Hall Park/Fairbarn area I was able to have a brief chat with a young mum who wants her son to be baptised. Her friend, who was nearby told me how he wants to bring his children to church so that they can learn about Jesus and grow in their faith. He was inspired by some of his Muslim friends and the way they take their faith incredibly seriously with it being at the heart of their identities and family life. And this man wanted that for his family too. He reminded me of a famous boxer who is a Christian and has achieved remarkable things in his life. “I want my kids to know about Jesus” he told me “anything is possible then”. This man had pretty much quoted Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Both the young mum and the man have joined our Facebook Page and have promised to get in touch with us and come to church once the building is opened. And if you are watching both of you… we will hold you to that promise! Do not make us go all Liam Neeson! We will find you!

Yesterday I spoke to a lady who has said that her social isolation coupled with the national crisis have led to a complete review of her life and after many years absence from the church, she wishes to return once the building is open. She has realised how much she misses the church family and the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Isn’t it wonderful to hear that God is continuing to move and connect with people at a time like this?

I wonder, what might God be saying to you at this time? And how are you going to respond to His message or His call? If you want to share your thoughts, do use the comments below, if you want to ponder this privately at home, feel free and if you’d value a one to one conversation with any of the clergy, do get in touch.

See you next week!