I don’t know about you, but I’m getting bored of the virus now. The novelty has worn off, the hard slog of doing things differently is taking its toll, and it look like it’s all going to go on until next year.
Our new Curate Rich Townend reminded me the other day that the Old Testament has a surprising amount to say about the strange situation of anxiety, fear, frustration and boredom that we’re living through. One book that seems particularly pertinent is the one called Ecclesiastes. In it the author – a world-weary philosopher type – casts a jaundiced eye over the world around him. “It’s all vanity, meaningless!” he cries. “There’s nothing new under the sun. Even applying yourself to wisdom is just a chasing after the wind.”
In the midst of all this cynicism, however, the writer of Ecclesiastes pens these beautiful words, which might just speak to us at the moment:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot…
God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end…”
By the beginning of October we’ll have been back in church for two Sundays – a 9 o’clock Communion and an afternoon Harvest Family Service. It struck me that this must have been the first time in centuries that the church building has been silent for so many months. It felt very special to be back. We’re going to continue with ‘in person’ fortnightly 9 o’clock Communions and monthly Family Services, supplemented by the online services which you can find on the All Saints Barmston Facebook page, the A Church Near You website or by phoning 01262 412525 at any time of the day or night. I do hope you’ll join us.