Is it me, or is life becoming fuller and fuller at the moment? Of course, in one respect this is a good thing – restrictions seem to be on their way out, we are allowed to meet again, and everyone is taking full advantage, attending gatherings and planning parties. And in Holy Trinity things are no different: the 2022 Pilgrimage Group has met and is planning a year of opportunities to reflect on our faith journey whilst also enjoying each other’s company again, and getting to know better some people who have joined us along the way. I am sure it will be a fruitful year.
But then, as I take a huge breath of anticipation, I hope we won’t forget what we have been through. I hope that we will move forward recognising that we’ve all been changed, much has been learned and that the future will be different because of it … or at least, I hope so. In one sense I suspect that the learning is not new in itself (apart from the leap in technological knowledge we have all experienced!) … its as if we have thrown our life cards up in the air and rearranged them in a different order and priority. Friends, family, meeting up, connection, relationships – they all have come to the fore like never before and I am sure Jesus would smile in approval. We know that Zoom is great and an absolute lifeline for many situations, but on the other hand it is not a satisfactory substitute for human touch, closeness and interaction. I hope we remember that not everyone has come through this experience unscathed and many are still finding life challenging because of the pandemic. But despite this, we know in a new way, that we are one – one with our struggling/laughing neighbour, community, church family. We are connected at a deep level and hopefully we are walking each other home as compassionately as we can. Ultimately these past two years have been a reminder that we are not in control … never have been … and never will be … a realisation which calls for a renewal in humility and gratitude in our relationship with each other and with God.
In the story of Noah God sent the rainbow to signify the hope of new life, the promise of God’s faithfulness and love. The rainbow was chosen, I think, so appropriately during the pandemic. Despite the hard times, God has not abandoned us. God has been with us during the past two years, and will continue to be so. As we move forward we can trust in that promise … and live in joy in its outpouring.