Lent Reflection

At this time of the Christian year we would normally be making preparations for Easter.  These could be our Lent Study Group events, our evening prayer meetings, our regular worship services or perhaps moments of solitary prayer, self-denial or perhaps reflections on our lives as disciples.  Our lives, as given to us by God, often have a way of moving in a direction that we had not planned.  This is normal, although now, normality seems many miles away.

Covid-19 as it has been named has ambushed us and many millions around the world.  It is regarded as a Pandemic.  I am reminded that we have had some nineteen Pandemics since 165AD, the worst not unexpectedly being the 14th century Black Death which killed around 200 million people.  Interestingly, we have had five Pandemics this century and we are only in the 20th year.  We had had Sar’s, Mers, Swine Flu, Ebola and now Covid-19.  This virus has taken over our lives and for the moment has changed everything we do.

As Christians we are presented with new ways in which to respond to our Lenten calling.  We are not the first, nor will we be the last, who will have lives effected by natural and unnatural disasters.  The first Pandemic in 165AD occurred at an early time in the life of the Christian Church, a time when faith was beginning to bloom much like the flowers, we can see offering a reassuring sign that spring is on the way.  Warmth and light will once again be in abundance.  On Easter Sunday in 260AD in Corinth, Bishop Dionysius praised the efforts of Christians many of whom had died caring for others.

We need to stay strong in the love that God has for us all. The distance in metres, yards and maybe miles that separates us physically is something that we will endure and look forward to the day when we can be together again to celebrate our love for each other and for God.

Our Lent Study this year is “Saying Yes to Life”.  The focus is on Genesis, the story of creation.  What a wonderful story God gave us in creation, but it was not all “plain sailing”.  There was much trouble on the way.  As life is a journey of experience, so to travel that journey within the story of creation we can see Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the great flood and Noah to name a few.  Like the new growth we see each year in spring, Abraham came was faithful to God and a nation was formed.

We will come through this time of anxiety, concern for our family, friends and all those we know especially those who are vulnerable.  I am reminded of Psalm 61 a call to God for his Protection.  Let us pray each day for each one of us, for all peoples, wherever they may be to be blessed with the Holy Spirit and the love of God that they may be kept safe and ready for the light and warmth that follows in the Spring of our lives.

Clive Taylor