Our Minister, Rev’d Chris Pritchard, sends the following Message for the month of April 2020 ….
Whilst eating a bacon sandwich with my family one Saturday lunch in early March we were discussing the effects of the Coronavirus on all kinds of things. This was in part because I was lamenting the lack of any sport whatsoever to watch that afternoon and Ruth was concerned because when I go off to the football she gets a bit of peace and quiet for herself! I even asked whether Easter would have to be postponed! Little did I know that just a couple of weeks later church worship would be suspended for the foreseeable future. Of course Easter can’t be postponed although the way we mark the death and resurrection of Jesus will be affected by events.
I think it is important to say that the Coronavirus will not last forever. Where the outbreak began in China the number of new cases is falling and eventually things will get back to normal but there is little doubt that things in Britain will get worse before they get better.
One important question to ask ourselves is how we as Christians are going to respond to this situation. In this respect I think we have to remember our calling to love God and to love our neighbours. The normal way in which we show our love for God is through prayer, worship and service. We can still do all of those things it is just that we cannot do them at 10:30 on a Sunday morning in church. We can worship God where ever we are. We also need to think about what part we can play in helping support our friends and neighbours through this difficult time. While we should never put ourselves in
danger there will be ways in which we can support people through the next few months.
The other point I would make is that some things are transient and other things are eternal. Coronavirus however horrible and disruptive it maybe will pass but even though we have to mark Easter in a quieter way this year, the death and resurrection of Jesus will still shape our lives. The belief we have that Christ is alive will still be there and the hope we have in Jesus will not be diminished even if we can’t sing the great Easter hymns quite as loudly this year.
The truth of Easter is that Christ is alive, having overcome great suffering and death itself! That is the message we proclaim at Easter and that means that he, Jesus, is with us always, even in the midst of a terrible crisis like the Coronavirus pandemic. Jesus hasn’t left us in the lurch, Jesus is here with us now, helping us, encouraging us and loving us always.
God bless us and be with each and every one of us.