The Ministry Assistant Writes

It is now a year, since we were plunged into the strange new world of life during a pandemic. It has changed all our lives and there has been much sadness and suffering during this time. But it has perhaps also been a chance for us to reflect on what we talk about as being, ‘normal’ life and what we might want life to be like when we reach the end of these trying times.

We have learnt to appreciate some of the things we have lost during the last year such as regular contact with family and friends, the chance of social interaction, and the joy of being able to go where we want, when we want, and even simple things like being able to go shopping in the expectation of buying what we want rather than the bare necessities. The question is; will we still appreciate these things when the pandemic is over? Will we have learnt the value of the small pleasures in life or will we immediately return to the more selfish attitudes and ambitions that were in danger of taking over society prior to the Pandemic?

The New Testament often speaks about the people of God enduring times of trial and temptation. The early Christians were familiar with a world that restricted their ability to worship God as they wanted to; but they did not allow themselves to be defeated by this. Instead they learnt to depend upon God who strengthened them and encouraged them in all situations. During this past year, all the Church activities, meetings and services which we accepted as a constant part of life have been stripped away. Simply doing things the way they have always been done has not been an option. Without activities and fellowship to support and sustain us, we have been forced to turn directly to God to support and sustain our faith and our lives. It has been an opportunity to place Christ firmly at the centre of our lives, not pushed to the side of congregational activities. How wonderful it would be, if, when life returns to what we think of as normal, Christ remained in the centre of our lives and is returned to his rightful place as the head of the Church!

Our hope is that we will soon be nearer the end of this pandemic than the beginning, and as we begin to plan to meet together once again in worship, praise and fellowship, let us make the most of what we have learnt in the past year. Let us reflect upon the things we would like to change, and begin planning for a new start and a new era as a congregation of God’s people.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Dr Sara Rettie