We are living in challenging times. Not long ago, Corona was a beer, hand sanitiser was something you did when entering and exiting a hospital and loo rolls and pasta were readily available at any supermarket! Now we know that Covid-19 is not some newly discovered star in a far-off galaxy, it’s actually a highly infectious virus that is overtaking the world. Even though according to the latest figures available at the time of writing, flu, which arrives every winter, has taken many more lives than Coronavirus, the threat is very real. Many people are living in fear.
Fear of the future, fear of being infected, fear for their family members – especially people with pre-existing medical conditions who are most vulnerable at this time. Fear affects the way we act. Out of fear, people are bulk buying without thought for those who may be in far greater need.
What are we to do? We will rise to the challenge and work together to support one another through this difficult time. Already there are moves right across the country with community groups and volunteers coming together to support the most vulnerable among us. In Quainton, the Parish Council have acted quickly to do just that, with volunteers signing up to help those in need, especially those in high risk groups and those needing to self-isolate.
So here is the good news story in all of this. Over the next few months, we will witness countless acts of kindness, which will draw our community together. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary acts of service to all those in need.
Above all, there is a place to allow the love of God to give us courage and hope, and to spread that courage and hope to those who are living in fear around us. We’ve been encouraged to sing Happy Birthday twice whilst washing our hands with soap in hot water. I’ve taken to saying the Lord’s Prayer instead – it’s about the same length and helps me understand much more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, who never promised an easy ride, but did promise his presence with us in the tough times as well as the good times.
Psalm 24 is worth calling to mind: “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.”
If you are unable to get to church, there are resources on our website that will offer comfort, hope, peace and guidance at this time. And I am here to offer practical help and support. Please feel free to contact me if you need to. (www.quaintonchurch.com)