In our world of altered reality with all of the changes to our lives brought about by Covid-19 and in which many people are experiencing untold hardship, suffering and loss, as many have said, there are still many examples of love, care and kindness which overall prevail in these dark times. Not just the courage and commitment of those who work so tirelessly in the NHS, in social care and as keyworkers who make our lives more bearable during this pandemic. But also the great and little acts of human kindness demonstrated by family, friends, neighbours, parishioners and often strangers to one another, binding our community in care against this adversity.
These horrible and difficult times have brought out the best in many people. And we cling to that as we begin to consider emerging into the new normal which Covid-19 has brought about in our lives.
What does our Church have to say in response to this? Well, although the restrictions brought about by the virus still mean that our regular worship together at St Mary’s and the other churches in our Parish cannot take place, our community of faith and day by day walk with God continues unchanged. We still experience the grace and goodness of God – the kindness of others towards us demonstrates this tangibly – and we still worship as a Parish albeit individually and in our own myriad ways.
And how the kindness of others in these challenging times speaks to us of the fruits of the Spirit, of which we have just been reminded as we celebrated Pentecost Sunday at the end of May. In the Bible we are told:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5, vs 22-23)
These are the characteristics which mark us out as God’s people; they demonstrate that, whilst it is often a struggle, God works through his Spirit to mark us out as changed people and this is evident by what we say and do and the way we go about our daily lives. We’re not perfect, but if we allow God, he will work marvels in our lives.
And the acts of kindness, of common humanity shared amongst us in these times, give us much to thank God for and to celebrate, even in the face of such a pandemic.
Every good wish and blessing from the congregation at St Mary’s.