Wednesday, 1 April 2020

LETTER FROM LAURA/WEEKLY BIBLE READINGS


LETTER FROM LAURA












Lent to Easter, Via the Coronavirus

We have made a lot of changes in church about how we do things.  The spread of infection has come to the forefront of our mind. I don't know how you felt, but it hit me hard when I heard Boris Johnson say that 'many more will lose loved ones.'  Some may have panicked, some will have made new plans, some will have rolled their eyes, some will have vowed to change nothing and decry those who are panicking. What a strange lot we are as human beings.

Mark, my husband, and I both work in environments with people from lots of different countries. We have discovered that people have a tendency to trust the advice of the country from which they are from. We have heard:  “Post soldiers outside people's houses and shoot them if they come out;” “Make everyone stay indoors and deliver state food packages.” It may be hard for them to hear the measures in the UK: “If you are not feeling well, stay indoors for a week.” “Ridiculous!” I am told.  “It will never work!” Imagine, we have the audacity to dare to get through a pandemic by initially relying on people's altruism. 

God gave us the tools to deal with pandemics, but they have another name: the fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5.22-23)

Firstly, Self-Control.  That we have enough self-control to realise that we may not need 36 rolls of toilet paper and that we follow the rules when we are bored of them.
Next, we need patience. Patience to wait for an unfolding epidemic, patience to wait for medicine, patience to remember to put others before ourselves who may have underlying health conditions.  Also, we need the patience to stay away from infection when we are bored of staying in.  When we have lost the will to protect ourselves, we must protect ourselves for others.

We need kindness and goodness, where we are ready to help our neighbours when they have no one else. We need to be brave and we need to trust others that they will leave enough for us.  We need generosity with our time and our patience.  We need gentleness not judgement when we see others behaving badly; when we see others being selfish.  We need to search for peace in a time of worry and fear.  We need to remember to love those around us, with our thoughts and actions.  We need to behave lovingly.

That leaves faithfulness and joy. Joy may be hard at the moment, but we remember at this time of year the joy of Easter. The 'fear and joy' of the women running from the tomb with the words, 'He is risen'.  Throughout our life we will experience fear and joy like the women at the tomb. And it is through our faithfulness, that we start to glimpse the world through God's eyes. That we see the rhythm of life and death, fear and joy.

Let us prepare for pandemic with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.                                                                                      

Revd. Laura Rhodes, Assistant Priest


St Mary's Parish Magazine can now be downloaded from https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12578/page/55537/view/

Weekly Bible Readings



First Reading
Psalm
Second Reading
Gospel
5th April  2020
Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 118:1-2. 19-29
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 21:1-11
Passion
Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
Or Matthew 27:11-54
12th April 2020
Easter Sunday
Either Acts 10:34-43 or
Jeremiah 31:1-6
Psalm 118:1-2. 14-24
Either Colossians 3:1-4
or Acts 10:34-43
Either John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10
19th April 2020
Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14a. 22-32
Psalm 16
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31
26th April 2020
Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14a. 36-41
Psalm 116:1-3.10-17
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35



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