Church buildings beginning to re-open!
It was lovely that St Anne’s was open for prayer on Wednesday and so good to see people in the building and able to pray.
We now wait to hear what we need to do to open for services – the government has made a statement but not given the details as yet.
We are aware that some will not feel they can come to the church buildings and we will keep the online prayers and services going; we know others really want to get back to coming to the church as it is part of their weekly spiritual rhythm.
At the moment we think there will be restrictions around singing and we know services will not be the same as they were. But God calls us forward and we want to respond.
We are also delighted that the church buildings will be able to hold funerals and weddings (though again we wait on exact details). We are so aware that there are grieving families who have not been able to say good-bye in the way that they would have wished; we know there are couples who had wonderful plans for weddings, and now probably need to plan and adapt. We will not get back everything that has been missed and we will need to learn how to mark it as we feel best.
This Sunday we will be celebrating, but sadly not together in person the patronal festivals for St Peter and for St Maxentius, and we would have been saying farewell to Jan Ainsworth who has been the Team Vicar at St Maxentius but is now retiring. It is sad that we cannot gather to say Thank You and to express our thanks for all she has done. It is another marker which has gone without proper noting.
We have made our daily prayers this week prayers of thanks- because being able to be grateful can release us from the worst of frustrations and regrets.
God is with us in each day and through each day, and his love for us is not dependent on how much we have achieved. The things we value are temporal, but the values we value are eternal.
“I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have entrusted to him safe until the day.” So wrote St Paul, and it is a bit of a mouthful but what he is saying is that he believed that all that was important was held by God and would not be lost. He also knew that nothing could separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus and this gave him his foundations, his strength and his hope. Although we have missed key markers, although our plans and hopes have – in some cases – been dashed for now, although there are things left undone and not done, can we trust our Creator and Redeemer to be with us and to keep us and to bring us to Himself? I hope so.
In all things, by prayer and thanksgiving, make your requests known to God…