Well, as you can see - I finally managed to submit a photograph that was clear enough and looked like me (perhaps previously I had triggered the excessive facial hair monitor!). So I now possess a new passport, though the new colour and the omission on the cover of the words “European Union” serve as a sad reminder of a further change regarding Brexit and the trade and travel borders that lie shortly ahead.
But as many people's focus is now towards the future, with a potential ease of certain restrictions, I fear there may continue to be winners and losers. On the theme of travel, apparently if you have the money to purchase your own Covid test after travelling, you can limit the time you are required to quarantine. Indeed travel has always been an indicator of what added wealth can buy you; from plush travel lounges to being fast tracked through check-in and customs, it’s amazing the privileges that can be bought by paying a bit extra - winners and losers. And just today, it’s been announced that the vast majority of the public sector will have to endure a pay freeze, and whilst it’s clear that employment prospects in the private sector have taken a bit of a beating too, the shareholders of on-line companies, and supermarkets too, (not to mention the procurers and manufacturers of over priced and yet substandard PPE) have never had it so good, and there are no proposals to further tax their gains made in the midst of this crisis; winners and losers. We can only hope that when it comes to the future, and the prospect of distributing and receiving the much awaited vaccine, that, principles of justice i.e. 'who needs it', rather than 'who can most afford it', is the underlying principal behind the rolled-out scheme. But time will tell.
In the meantime, within the Christian calendar our focus moves towards the season of Advent, a time for hope as we reflect on the "word made flesh”. Hope found, both in God’s commitment to the world as demonstrated in the first coming of Jesus, together with hope in the real and true justice that will be experienced in his glorious return, when perhaps previous ideas concerning who is a winner and who is a loser, may well be turned upside down!
As we watch and we wait
Keep in touch
Keep the faith.
P.S. apologies to anyone who tried to access Zoom morning prayer this morning. Normal service (…well as much as Zoom is ever normal!) will be returned next week!