Just a thought....

New language of lockdown

We are now into our fourth month of lockdown, haven’t things changed? Prior to this current situation, I only heard the term ‘lockdown’ on the BBC tv quiz show ‘Pointless’, when teams who scored the same number of points would ‘lockdown’ in battle together. Another new term is ‘social distancing’, we have a great culture of queuing in Wales, however now, we must be sure to be 2m apart, or is it 1m, or 1.5m? I sit in my car, waiting for Sian to finish doing the weekly shop at Sainsbury’s, as I watch people in the queue – this distance seems to be quite fluid (I haven’t as yet, see anyone with a tape measure!). There are Fish & Chip shops – remember them? Where you have to ring through your order, then you are given a time for collection, most bizarre.

Many of us are out doing our daily exercise, well, most days anyway for us. We have several local routes that we take, we try to vary them. How pleasant to see strangers acknowledging you as you pass – after they’ve crossed the road of course. It’s great seeing church members, similarly out on their daily constitution.

In recent weeks, there have been huge protests regarding Black Lives Mattter, in the wake of recently police activity mainly in U.S. Another new term has come to the fore – ‘Taking the knee’, kneeling on one leg in respect of the Black cause. No social distancing in these huge gatherings – what consequences will that have for the dreaded ‘R’ number?

Another change during the lockdown is in how we pay for goods purchased over shop counters. In some shops locally, we are encouraged to have the right change to pay the exact amount. I was in one local shop the other day, where the shop assistant sanitized the coins I passed across the counter, before putting them in the till. Preferably, people are asked to pay using their contactless card.

Are we to wear face coverings, plastic gloves – what implications does ‘shielding’ have for us? How are we to enable society to come together again, post-lockdown (whenever that might be)?

So where is God in the lockdown? – as pre and post lockdown, he is by your side. God is sat alongside you as you shield in your own home, he is alongside medical staff in our hospitals, he is with the vulnerable yes, he is with YOU, vulnerable or not. Matthew Ch.28 v.20 tells us “I will be with you always, to the end of the age”. If we look at Christ’s arms, outstretched on the cross, the cynic might say that measures the safe social distance. However, to the Christian, these are Christ’s everlasting arms, drawing us closer to him, not repelling us.

We need to be aware that at some point, society will need to draw itself back together. The Church will be an important factor is gluing back the remnants of society. So hold tight to those everlasting arms of Jesus, as He looks down on his pained creation as it groans in turmoil at the moment. Look at the face of a clock, the arms are constantly moving. There was a time (23rd March), when we entered lockdown – there will be a point in time, when lockdown will end.

Stay Safe

Your Friend and Vicar

Canon Phillip

(always here for you all)

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