Before I began to write this week, I had paused and turned to God the Father and the Holy Spirit for help for the right words at this difficult time and the answer that had come to me was ‘MORE TO DO’. This made me pause again saying, “What more can I do when in Lockdown?” I looked at the photos which I could see had been taken when the people were happy and enjoying life, photos which would stay with their loved ones, photos to be proud of and to be special memories.
It was then while I was still looking at the photos that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, entered the room and Dan the presenter after thanking him for coming asked as I had, “What can we do to help the people?” Justin Welby was also grieving. He said that he too had lost loved ones, having lost his daughter some time ago and at the present time because of COVID-19 he had lost his very best friend, a Bishop. So, struggling himself, he said, “Each person is special to God, each person is loved by God” and he added that he finds hope in the Resurrection and then reiterated that there is hope in the Resurrection. I can’t recall all that he said but in talking about the Resurrection, we were thinking about God giving His own Son Jesus Christ who suffered and died and because of that there is a new and better life awaiting.
While I was still watching the programme, Dan asked for silence. Immediately, there was complete silence, not for long but it was a depth of silence that stayed with me the rest of the day. Later in the day, I realised that I had not had an answer to my question “What more can I do?” The answer that came to me was not something difficult. What could we do while we are following the rules about not going out? What have we left to use? The answer was to use the telephone. It might be that you haven’t spoken to someone for a while or you know someone on their own. Just pick up the phone and have a chat. It might be that will lighten the day for you both.
Today we give thanks Lord as we see a chink of light in the dark tunnel. Thank you, Lord, for the vaccines and for the people who have been given the ability and wisdom to produce the life-giving immunity against the virus. We have so much to thank you for Lord even though we are finding our present kind of living, that we feel has been forced upon us, very difficult. Almighty and powerful God, we know that there will be goodness from many people and that there are people who will not find good from others. Lord guide us in the way of your Son Jesus our saviour.
Today we pray for our Archbishop Justin Welby, a man of great faith who so many rely on to do and say what is right for us all. We ask your blessing on him for the words he says at the right time with the power of the Holy Spirit. Lord, help him as he helps all who he comes across. Almighty God, we pray too for the many Chaplains whose calling is to be on call when people are struggling for their lives.
Loving God of all, we ask that our prayers of love and compassion will reach each of those thousands of grieving people and all the church leaders who have been called to care for a flock. May they feel the strength of the Holy Spirit as they serve you Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, help us to draw the grieving people to know you, to feel your healing touch and to follow your way of life. And Lord Jesus, please hear these prayers on behalf of the people of both Long Compton and Long Itchington Chapels and guide us to ways in which we can worship once again. All of the prayers are said in the blessed name of You, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.