From Father Bob

25th March

 

A reflection from Fr Bob Latham on closing the churches:

I took this photo on Sunday morning for all those across the Benefice who could not gather with the clergy to celebrate what turned out to be our last Eucharist service in church for some time. I am struck now by the contrast of closed doors and opening flowers.

There is a note of Easter and the opening of the tomb. New life breaking open, yes, but in this setting also a wisdom and experience of ages past that gently cradles our suffering and anxiety; and says this trial too will pass.

 

The vitality of Spring cannot be held back, and the sweet scent of mown grass cannot be dispersed as we have been dispersed from here to our homes.

 

We shall live as well as we can, and we will adapt in creative ways to counter this unwelcome guest. We shall pray often and deeply, and we will lament this time of separation from each other and these places and sacraments that mean so much to us.

 

As Christians it is important for us to remember that whilst we gather in buildings to worship, God is not contained within them, but in Christ he is in the wilderness with us.

 

This year Easter will be different. We should celebrate the resurrection of our Lord as best we can and rejoice in it as we should; but we will be in the wilderness still.

 

The time will come for our return - and we shall embrace these places and sacraments in thanksgiving and joy once more.

 

Until then, we shall continue to draw strength from our faith in Jesus Christ, for he is the living water that cannot be contained or diminished, diverted or lost.

 

We shall pray for our nation and those most affected, and we shall serve our communities with courage, tenacity, compassion and love.