A couple of times a year we get the opportunity of writing the Christian Viewpoint column for the local newspaper. Below is the editorial for July 2020
July 23rd 2020
Lock down is over, for the time being anyway! In March we were told, “you must stay at home.” Now we are being told to “go back to work!” What an extraordinary turn of events.
Noah and his family faced a lock down of their own, spending many days and nights in a floating zoo, weathering the storm and waiting for the waters to recede. In the end they did and Noah and the ark’s occupants were able to leave lockdown, step onto dry land and begin again. It was a familiar world, and yet so different to the one they had left. Likewise for us, as we leave our lock down the world we walk into is familiar, yet different.
But God hasn’t changed! His command to “go into all the world” holds as true now as it did then! Keeping God’s instruction, even in pandemic Britain, will give us clarity and vision. We may have to do things differently, but the lost will always need saving, pandemic or not! Let us walk safely, yet confidently, into the “undiscovered country” that lies ahead with God by our side. There is much work to do. Let’s set to it.
July 16th 2020
Many are held in the grip of fear: fear of death, fear of life, fear of leaving the house, fear of remaining in the house, fear of mixing in public, fear of remaining isolated, fear of breathing, fear of catching the corona virus. Many medical people acknowledge this simple truth - fear can kill.
Yet time after time in the Bible the Lord encourages His people not to be fearful! “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
This is the hope for the Christian believer! Fear can seize us and render us totally ineffective yet a quiet trust in God can calm all our fears and release us to be the person He has created us to be.
During this time of crisis it is understandable that many are afraid. What an opportunity for Christians to move amongst the fearful with the gospel message, “God is with us, do not be afraid!”
Let us continue to remain vigilant, safe and socially distanced but never allow the spirit of fear to grip us. Instead, may His peace wash over us and as it does, may those who can, go out amongst the people and make a difference.
9th July 2020
During the current pandemic, thousands have died, thousands have been bereaved and for thousands, lives will never be the same. We should not be surprised if we hear the question “Where is God in all this?”
Yet when we take a closer a look, the evidence is there that God has indeed been working amongst us, in ways we could not have predicted.
We read in the New Testament that a key characteristic of the early church was a community of people who looked after each other: “They gave to anyone as he had need.” Haven’t we seen this community spirit rising up all over the world? Day after day on our television screens we have witnessed great acts of kindness and generosity. Shopping has been done for the shielded, phone calls have been made to the lonely, and people have lined the streets, applauding funeral processions as they have passed – a demonstration of love, kindness, mercy and solidarity.
A sense of community is a work of God’s Spirit and we have seen it in full flow right across the globe.
Take heart dear friends. In the midst of crisis, God is at work amongst us, through ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
2nd July 2020
In 1650, Thomas Fuller, an English theologian wrote a proverb that seems to have great relevance for all of us living in today’s corona virus world: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” The proverb is one of great hope: “do not give up during the hard times because when things are at their hardest, they are about to get better!”
I recently spoke to someone who was a girl during the Second World War and, speaking of the current lock down and pandemic situation, she said, “This is even harder than during the war!”
The Covid 19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with our national health, morale and economy. Many are living in fear, afraid to leave their own home for fear of infection. The government finds itself in a wrestle with a terrifying health crisis and a collapsing economy. When will it end? The answer is no one knows. But God does. He has promised never to leave nor forsake us and gives us the comforting reassurance that, in time, “the rough ground will become smooth.” Put your trust in the Lord during this time of crisis. He is with us and will cause the dawn to rise on our darkest hour.