This is our final daily reflection. I do hope that you have found them a meaningful source of comfort and inspiration during the lockdown. We will however, continue to produce a weekly reflection, published on our Facebook page and website every Monday. Also we are currently making plans for the reopening of the church in September - subject to the appropriate guidance and regulations. More details about this soon. (Rev Sean Swindells, Cruden Parish Church)
Friday 31st July 2020
It is now 137 days since the lockdown began. Back then, many folks were feeling a sense of apprehension and fear. The reality of the situation then kicked in with shops, pubs, cafes, schools and even churches closing at very short notice. And then came a regular daily update of the increasing numbers of people in intensive care, and how many lives had ended, often separated from families and loved ones. It has been a cruel, difficult and challenging time. And now we are facing a new normal. Covid-19 has not gone away. Still our lives are interrupted and inconvenienced. But we have turned a corner.
John 14: 27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
During the pandemic, what have we learned and discovered?
What have we learned? Have we learned that support came from the most unexpected and surprising places? Have we learned that people doing what was deemed as ‘low skilled and low paid work’ were in fact doing some of the most demanding and essential work? Have we learned that our materialistic lifestyles where community countered for very little, was in fact a hollow and shallow view of life? Have we learned the true value of relationships and community? Have we learned that our priorities were in desperate need of reordering?
What we discovered? Have we discovered that most people are good and helpful and supportive? Have we discovered the ‘hidden hero’s’ who have quietly gone about the task of supporting, serving and encouraging? Have we discovered the things that really matter? Have we discovered that in the reordering of our priorities, we encounter a life that is richer and more meaningful?
And what have we learned and discovered about God? Have we learned that God is on our side? Have we learned that God shares our deepest fears and feels our pain? Have we discovered the reality of God’s presence? That he holds us firm in the storm and breaths his deepest peace into our troubled hearts? And what discoveries does God have for his people still to make?
Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church
The prayer below was published by a colleague, the Rev Evelyn Robertson
Loving and Healing God
137 days ago we prayed “In the midst of this pandemic crisis You are with us.
Let us feel your presence.” You have been with us and are still with us and we do still feel Your presence.
We recognised that You are our Provider and You are still our Provider. “Give us each day our daily bread and stop everyone from panic buying,” we prayed - today You still provide our daily bread and the panic buying has stopped and the queues have shortened.
137 days ago cases of Covid19 were on the increase and deaths were on the rise – today infection rates are low and there have been no deaths in Scotland for over a week. For that we offer our thanks and praise and we ask that a second wave won’t come.
Loving and Healing God in the midst of this pandemic crisis You are with us and You are still with us. We give thanks and praise for all those who have recovered from this virus and we pray that there will be no lasting effects. We pray for all those who have lost a loved one that they will know Your eternal comfort.
May we all feel enfolded in Your love, experience Your grace and Your healing.
Loving Father, You are our hope, our strength and our shield. You are our Miracle Worker, our Promise Keeper and our Light in the Darkness.
Loving and Healing God draw close to us all in this pandemic crisis and let us feel your healing, loving and gracious presence.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
Not when the mountains shake,
or the seas roar,
or the clouds part to reveal You,
but here and now,
on this one ordinary day,
we will wait and watch
for You will surely come to us.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all, now and evermore.