Keep Calm & Carry On
The title of this blog & saying seems like an impossible one to keep to at this moment in time, when all around us seems to be falling down. Inducing, worry, anxiety, illness, social distancing & panic buying, even the most steadfast of us are bound to be a little shaken by what’s going on.
I am currently following the Church of England’s #LiveLent devotions. The reading on the 19th March was from Joel:
“2 Leaders, listen to this message!
Listen to me, all you people who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your life?
Did anything like this happen during your fathers’ lifetime?
3 You will tell these things to your children,
and your children will tell their children,
and your grandchildren will tell the people of the next generation.
4 What the cutting locust[a] has left,
the swarming locust has eaten.
what the swarming locust has left,
the hopping locust has eaten.
And what the hopping locust has left,
the destroying locust has eaten!” Joel 1:2-4 (ERV)
Perhaps the C of E were given a prophetic word when this was written, but it really speaks of the situation we are currently living in. I think we can all agree that as stated in verse 2 & 3, nothing like this has happened in our lifetimes and it will be something we certainly remember in years to come. Verse 4 perhaps speaks of the current climate particularly in the retail sector where greed is rife and shortages are a harsh reality.
However, as Christians within the uncertainty and unrest we have this hope that we can cling to… Jesus Christ. Amidst all the questions, which I’m sure we all have, we can hold fast to the hope that God is in control. Hillsong’s ‘In Control’ is a poignant reminder of God’s sovereign authority:
We need to challenge ourselves to look at this situation differently. Through all of this, we have an amazing chance to demonstrate God’s love to his people through our actions. As NT Wright wrote, it is our chance to ‘colonize earth with the life of heaven’. Let’s point people to Jesus through our actions during this difficult time.
So how can we do this?
Through all the uncertain times, there is one thing we can be sure of... Jesus never fails us. Ever. Even if perhaps we can’t see the path clearly right now, if we hold on to him, then he will see us through. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So keep on praising him.
Prayer: This is so important. Keep communicating with God! He has the answers when we don’t. Perhaps you would like to practice gratitude and thank God for his blessings during this time.
Things to Pray for:
Each Other - particularly those in crisis
Our nation’s leaders as they make decisions
The wider world
God’s Word: I believe that God is speaking in some mighty was through the bible and that this is relevant today! Let him reveal his love to you through reading his word.
Music: Pop on some worship music and dance as David danced in your kitchen (if you so wish!). Sing your praises to him as he is forever faithful.
At church we have been focusing on a sermon series ‘Switched On’ which looks at how we can live generously. There is no time like the present! Jesus himself stated the second greatest commandment after loving God:
‘A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
(Matt 22:39 NLT)
Obviously within the confines of social distancing, consider how you can reach out and show your neighbours the love of Jesus. Offer help where you can. Perhaps you could pop a card through your neighbours doors with your number on to let them know that you are available to help practically or pray for them. I know some people have set up WhatsApp groups with their neighbours to ensure wellbeing. Others such as teachers are offering support to parents as the begin to homeschool their children.
Be mindful of others as you shop. Is there someone you know who may need something? Are you thinking of others in the quantities you buy? It is great to see that retailers are now beginning to limit the amount of items a customer can buy, but it is sad that it has had to come to this.
It’s important during these times of self-isolation and social distancing that we keep ourselves connected with the world around us to ensure our wellbeing.
Make a Phone Call- Know anyone in isolation who might be glad of a friendly phone call? Then pick up the phone. Simple!
Social Media- I’m sure we all understand that social media can be both a positive and negative medium. It may seem that at the moment all we can see is the negative. Perhaps you can show the world hope at this time, by sharing bible verses or other positive material. Take care not to be embroiled into reinforcing negativity.
Church Resources- You may have heard Kate say in her Covid-19 update video that we are still going to do church, but we will need to do it differently. We need to be mindful that the church is the people and not the building. St. Bart’s are going to be releasing videos as an alternative to church services over the next few weeks. Make sure you check them out. You may want to also take this chance to catch up on any talks you have missed too.
Click the picture below to follow a link to our website with online resources.
Most importantly Stay Safe
No heroes here please! To be able to serve others it is important to keep yourself safe. Make sure to keep in line with government guidelines and remember to look after yourself.