A Message from Maureen: 26th March 2020
Friends, we have moved even deeper into social isolation. I do hope that you are all following the rules and keeping safe. Keep in contact with each other via the phone or social media. It is heartening to hear of the response, by so many, of help to those most vulnerable in our society.
This Sunday the Lectionary takes us to three passages which really do speak to the present crisis.
They are: Ezekiel Ch 37 vs1-14; Psalm 130: John Ch 11 vs 1-45
I invite you to go and read them.
I am sure that, for many, the Ezekiel passage has brought to mind the song “Dem bones”. This brings a vision of each bone connecting with its adjacent one as the skeleton comes to life. This passage starts with a scene of desolation, and we have seen plenty of these on television recently! However, it moves on to present a vision of God’s people being restored to life through the breath of God’s Spirit.
The Psalmist, too, starts in a sad place “out of the depths, I cry to you” I wonder how many people all over the world have felt like that in the present crisis? This passage, too, transitions into a statement of hope. An expressed hope in a steadfast and faithful God.
In John we read the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. In this part of the Gospel we come across those famous words of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life” Those words have offered comfort to many in sad times. We can also see, in this passage, that Jesus understands our human predicament as he openly showed his emotion. Captured in the shortest verse in the Bible we read “Jesus wept”
These three passages have a message for us in these times- although our situation looks bleak there is hope. This is an important message and it echoes the message that Easter proclaims: Our God is with us and will sustain us. When human power fails then God’s power comes to the rescue!
Easter will be different for us this year but we can still celebrate the love of God. In fact, stripped of all the “added extras” that have been gathered around it, perhaps this will be an opportunity to engage with the real meaning. That is, to understand that with God there is always hope of new life. During this time of difficulty try to let that thought be uppermost in your mind.
Whatever the journey, our God travels with us and understands our emotions. You may be isolated but you are not alone!
God, you are a God of hope
Even in our despair we turn to You
Give us visions of new life and give us confidence in Your everlasting love
We pray that You strengthen us as we journey through this time of trial
Help us to be aware of our neighbours and their needs
Help us to do what we can to alleviate the isolation felt by so many at this time We would give thanks for those who work on the front lines of this battle with Covid 19:
doctors; nurses; ambulance personnel; cleaners and auxiliary staff
- all who give of their abilities to save the life of any who come into their care
We think, too, on those who work out in the wider world - the carers; the volunteers; the shop workers; or just good friends
We remember before You our politicians who are dealing with a situation that is fast moving and immensely challenging. Give them wisdom and insight and refresh them so that they have the strength to cope
We would take time to pray for our family members - whether close by or far away.
Lord, help us to place our trust in You rather than in our own strength.
Help us to know that You are Saviour and Redeemer
We bring this prayer in Jesus’ name
Whilst the church is closed on Sundays there are other options available for worship. The Church of Scotland will stream a service each Sunday at 11am on its website. Various churches do livestream - please just trawl the web or go to Church of Scotland web page to see a list. There will be a service of Reflections from Scotland on BBC at 12.15 on Sunday