Lockdown Part 2

3rd November 2020

A historic victory by Scots over the Welsh rugby team was overshadowed last weekend by long drawn out announcements of a second English lockdown.

God-willing we won’t have to wait 17 years for a result, but the swirling of data and politics leaves many of us with the reality of further restrictions and confusion about detailed arrangements in keeping safe, defeating this COVID virus, sustaining health care and reimagining the economy.

In particular, representation to and within government about the special and vital contribution of faith to the safety and well-being of the people of England has so far to get a positive response from No 10.

Meanwhile I am encouraged to explore what we ordinary citizens can do in lockdown rather than be dragged down by what we cannot. There will be the continuous offer of calm, courageous and compassionate action amongst each in their need.

Undergirding such service, as a Christian I am trying to practice pausing to pray and think. For the next 28 days at about 6pm there is to be a nation-wide call to pray using a form of Evening Prayer. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ network will provide extra materials.

Flowing from a closer relationship with God I also want make space to think through afresh a theme or practical matter that needs attention. For me that will be reassessing dependence on possessions (do they pass the ‘beautiful or useful’ test) and reconsidering the meaning of freedom, with Bishop Graham Tomlin’s ‘Bound to be Free’ (Bloomsbury 2017). I hope you will pray and reflect too in your chosen way. I trust that these difficult days will see a renewal of hope, revival of spiritual power and a profound self-giving by all people of good will, not least those who follow Lord Jesus, “whose service is perfect freedom”.