Christ has risen!
The Lord be with you!
It has been a wonderful experience to journey through Passion Week and Easter in a completely new fashion this year, and I am very grateful to all those who made it possible. We had numerous challenges, band-width of our internet being a major one, which we have found ways around, but it did affect our version of “GOING LIVE” it also took three days to get a post on-line, but we overcame.
I am very aware that we are entering a very stressful few week. Unlike Americans who take a Spring break each year, we are not accustomed to long periods of time, away from our regular routines. Our minds were (despite me warning you not to) already planning this week as a back to normal week. As the faith community, we have a major role to play in holding things together in this time.
I’d like to make some suggestions as to what you can do, during the extended lockdown.
Pray – Prayer is the work of the Church, and as Richard Rohr reminds us, we do not think ourselves into a new way of living, we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. We need to develop a habit and a discipline of prayer, it does come easy, but this is a perfect opportunity to focus on pour prayer life. Ideally, we should all join in the 08h00 and 16h00 Morning and Evening Prayers of the Church, just as that is not normally possible for everyone physically, it is not possible for everyone to join in online, but even if you are on your own and you open your bible and read the readings of the day and pray the prayers on your Pew Bulletin – you are including yourself in the work of prayer. Our format of Morning and Evening Prayers, where, we pray: the psalms, canticles and Scriptures, enables us to listen to God and not just bring our thoughts to him in an attitude of supplication. As we pray the Psalms, we see that God has sustained us as a community of Faith through many trials and that He is faithful. I exhort you to spend time in prayer and scripture reading.
Care for those in your circle of influence. We are all under financial pressure, but where possible, pay your domestic worker who is at home, in a difficult situation and has mouths to feed, and she /he is dependent on you.
Phone your friends and check up on each other. My biggest concern is for people living all alone. We need to keep an eye on each other.
Be careful of what you watch and what you read. Read and watch things that will lighten your heart and not drag you into depression. Don’t follow the news all day long, don’t be consumed by the situation out there.
Disconnect – turn off your phone and all your on-line connections and change the scenery. I have been reminded repeatedly this week how dangerous it is to rely on the number of “likes” on your last post to determine your worth.
Respect the Lockdown regulations: We have to show leadership in this area. Make yourself a cloth mask that you can wash after every trip to the store. Wash your hands thoroughly especially after going out. Avoid going out as much as possible. If you need assistance with procuring groceries, please contact me (082 370 4702).
The biggest thing by far – don’t put life on hold! Whether you are out there in essential services or cooped up at home, this is your life.
Yesterday we celebrated the Resurrection, you have been given a life in Jesus Christ and that life can be lived in any circumstances. the things you thought were necessary, are probably less important than you thought. what I mean by this is find ways to make your life work now, don’t wait till next month. Do what you can do and do not focus on what you can’t do. Just like the people of the Bible were told to get on with life in Exile though they had lost their way of life, so we need to find new and contextual and innovative ways to live. Necessity is the mother of invention; this time is a time for us to discover new things and new ways of living.
I end with this, to trust God completely and to wait upon the Lord requires you to be open to reality. To acknowledge your true feelings and desires and hurts and frustrations. The Psalmist teaches us that when we are honest with God – he will renew our strength. When we are honest with God we will be restored, healed and renewed.
Be assured of my prayers! God loves you and so do I.
May God bless you abundantly!