“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (Words that Jesus spoke to his followers shortly before he died.)
We hear so many stories of the selfishness of people at this dreadful time, it is really important that we focus, too, on the selflessness and generosity of so many more. All over the country, communities have united, supporting one another and protecting the vulnerable. Our own village has mobilised – from the volunteers in the shop, those coming from other villages to make deliveries of food to their neighbours, to the telephone tree and the folk who have set up this web site, there has been a coming together of people.
We are all finding it really hard not to meet up with friends, go to work, enjoy our outdoor hobbies. As members of the church, we, too, find it dreadfully hard not to be able to meet together regularly to worship. And yet, what is happening is prompting us to reach out in ways we’ve not had to before. Churches across the diocese are finding novel ways to be together – at Coddenham, we are looking into holding on line services – together perhaps with other churches in the benefice – on one of the digital platforms. We will post short “thoughts for the day” on this web site too.
The vital thing in all of this is that, in this time, we live out the love that we have for one another. The love that rises above any differences of opinion or quarrels we may have had in the past. The love that brings us together. The love that Jesus wants us to have.
In the midst of all of this, please be re-assured that none of us is alone. There are friends in the village who are on the end of a phone line. But there is someone else who will listen, too, who will be alongside you, and will bring you comfort and peace. If you reach out to him, Jesus is there, has been all along. He shares our pain and loneliness, our uncertainty and frustrations. And you don’t need to pick up the phone to talk to him.
You might like to use this prayer:
“Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.