Vicar's View: 11th April 2021

 

 

image of dove and Peace be with you

On the 7th of March 2020 Debs and I arrived at the vicarage to begin our ministry here in the Woodfield team, bursting with energy and ideas for our mission here, not knowing what was to come. On the 16th of March I was licenced as Team Vicar in the Woodfield team, feeling that we were beginning something different than I expected, with no refreshments or handshakes. We were still made to feel very welcome although the Bredon Hill group of people from my curacy churches weren’t able to be with us.

Then came complete lockdown raising many new challenges for us all, church services suspended, no mixing or meeting people, giving us a new challenge getting to know people and the communities we are here to serve.

As I was reading this week’s Gospel, I realised it spoke to me about the Bible, life and how reading it opens up emotions and feelings and new avenues to explore in our lives even when we find it challenging.

We know the Bible isn’t just one book it is a whole library of books where the relationship of God with humanity and the whole world, and humanity’s encounter with God is told in many different genres, but it largely unfolds through the experience of nations and individuals as they try, in their own ways, and with varying degrees of success to be God’s people.

As a result of this something remarkable happens when we read the Bible at different stages of our life – even the stories we thought we knew well become new and fresh as we discover the people within it, being normal people with emotions and feelings that traverse the centuries; we’re dealing with the same emotions and feelings - the same questions about how they fit into God’s pattern, that we do today.

That is why Sunday’s Gospel reading exploded with relevance for us today as we battle Coronavirus, lockdown, and its impact on us. A couple of noun changes in the opening sentence and the relevance leaps out at us: “When the household was together, with the doors locked in fear of the virus, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you!”

I believe there is comfort in these words from Jesus, he is with us and loves us even when we are going through tough times. The guiding hand of God is our assurance and hope in life.

I pray as we move forward out of lockdown those words from Jesus, ‘Peace be with you’ will be deep in your hearts.