musings from the manse – 31st March 2020
Jesus says this in John 13:34-35:
A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
So how do we do this in a time of isolation? Well, I think it can work in three areas:
This is where most of us are spending most of our time at the moment, either on our own or with a small number of people. How do we love one another in the home?
Being in a confined situation with those we are closest to in the world can often be a stress, and we need to practise grace and kindness even more than we usually do when we live in close quarters for an extended period of time.
Find space for you to do your own things. Do things together. Share concerns. Clear the air when necessary. Be honest and open. Pray together if you can. Get outside when you can.
If you are on your own, stay connected to others nearby, friends and family. You may be alone but you do not need to be lonely.
We can love one another even in our own homes.
Even though we cannot gather together to meet in our small groups and on a Sunday we still can keep on encouraging and building one another up.
Be in regular contact with each other by phone, or by email if you have it. Pray for one another.
Just because we do not see each face to face does not mean we should forget one another. We are still family.
Our pastoral care for one another can still happen and it is not just down to one or a few people it is something we can all do as we love one another as a church.
And we can love our community as well – help those neighbours who are not able to get out because they are in a vulnerable category or because they are self-isolating. It may be practical help because we might be limited ourselves, but we can get in touch and pray for them.
There are wider community initiatives we can support. Everyone in Chard should have had a leaflet through their door from the “Chard Coronavirus / Covid-19 Support Group,” supported by Chard Churches Together, which is seeking to help right across Chard, Tatworth and South Chard. We can support the Lord’s Larder. We can support local small business that are open.
And we can pray to our great big God about all that is happening to show our love for our community as well.
There is a lot that we can do to show our love for one another even in isolation, if we are willing to fulfil the commandment of Jesus.
Yours in Christ
Minister of CBC