Well it is day 1 of lockdown #2. I don't think many of us expected to be in this position back at the beginning of the year but here we are nevertheless.
The experience this time is going to be different for different people. In our house, lockdown is not massively different to being in tier 3 because the kids are still going to school and the grown ups in the house were mainly working from home anyway. Our families live quite far away so we hadn't seen them in person really for quite a while either. For us it feels like more of the same. Yet I am painfully aware that for other people this is a return to isolation, and the cancellation of the few things that they were able to do in person.
Lockdown is hard, and for some of us it is even harder. So my message to all of us today is to be kind to yourself and to other people who might be experiencing the current situation differently. However, you are expereincing the new lockdown, one thing that remains constant for all of us is that God is present with us. He knows our needs, hears our cries and he cares. Even in the darkest times, we are never alone. Those words at the beginning of the communion prayer ring as true today as when we are gathered around the table: The Lord is here, his Spirit is with us.
It seems really apt that this month we are exploring what it means to be church in our sermon series now we have the added dimension of what it means to be the church during lockdown. I am looking forward to preaching on Sunday and using a couple of the playdough models that you created last week as a springboard to think about what church is and what it could be. My lips are sealed as to which ones are being used this week so you will have to wait and see!
I look forward to catching up with you on Zoom on Sunday if I don't see you before.
P.S. If any one would particularly appreciate meeting up for a socially distanced walk (I'm thinking a slow poddle rather than a hike!) to be able to see someone, or to talk or to have someone to pray with in person, please let me know and I'd be happy to arrange something with you.