March 30th – April 4th 2020

Monday March 30th, a thought from Elizabeth McCulloch

I enjoy doing jigsaws.
There are occasions, however, when they can be frustrating. During self-isolation, I’m tackling one which features a greenhouse. Can I find that piece with that particular tomato on it? No way!
Perhaps the jigsaw can teach us something about life. Sometimes we focus on one piece as symbolic of the whole picture. However, God sees each part of the puzzle in the larger picture. If we can focus less on that one difficult piece and anticipate the bigger image we’ll perhaps see that God is at work fitting together the complete picture.
May God help us to take a step back and see things from His perspective, with our present challenges as part of His greater purpose for us.

‘Lord, Please take the fear from my heart and replace it with your love.

Please take the turmoil from my mind and replace it with your peace.

Amen (Lindisfarne Scriptorium)


Tuesday March 31st, a thought from Sandra Brower

Last week I saw a good article posted online, written by an astronaut who had tips for isolation, including: follow a schedule; pace yourself; go outside; you need a hobby; keep a journal; take time to connect; and listen to experts. Regarding the first, he said: ‘When I returned to Earth, I missed the structure it provided and found it hard to live without.’ The tragic side of this global pandemic is not to be underestimated. But I wonder what good things might emerge? Take a moment today to think about what things you might actually miss when this is over? Caring about the people on your street? Being more conscious of food waste? Daily family time? Let’s be thankful for how this time has made us appreciate things a little more, and let’s pledge to ourselves that we will take some of that with us to the other side.


Wednesday April 1st, a thought from Steve Birkinshaw

Statistics have become something about which people are talking these days. For me, teaching Maths part time, that’s nothing new. But whether its people queuing outside the supermarket, the rise in confirmed cases per day, beds in our hospitals, or days left of ‘lockdown’, numbers are part of people’s conversations. Whatever the numbers, God knows and values each and every one of us, as unique human beings created in God’s image. And that means as well as remembering that behind every number is a person, our call is shine God’s light to each person we come across, and perhaps in some small way show them a glimpse of God’ love.

Lord, help us to see your face in each person we meet, and so carry your light and love to the world.

Amen.


Thursday April 2nd, a thought from Nicole McConkey

I read lines like “… all that is asked of you is to sit on your sofa…” and think that sounds nice. But I’d say for many of us the reality is that this current situation has us busier than ever – any parents teaching their kids at home at the moment know what I am talking about. Not to forget front-line job workers:  NHS, carers, shop assistants, postal workers …it’s a long list. And although for most of us our circumstances have changed, we are reminded where we are and live life and do work is holy ground, sacred space – Maybe the excerpt of a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick can guide us today:


Friday April 3rd, a thought from Andrew Graystone

Losing Touch

In the last two weeks most of us have lost human touch from our daily lives. We dodge each other on pavements, and manoeuvre down the aisles of supermarkets as if we were trapped in a giant game of Pacman. We treat every human hand with suspicion, as a potential carrier of a deadly disease.

Jesus rarely healed without touching, and his touch was a sign of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Here was God, taking the initiative to touch his human people – and that touch extended to include women, children, the poor and the sick.

We shouldn’t be reckless or self-indulgent during the Corona crisis. But perhaps Christians should be the first and last to break the new social norms by embracing those who are sick, outcast or dying, taking the same risks that Jesus did to demonstrate the humanity of the otherwise untouched.


Saturday April 4th, a thought from Steve Birkinshaw

Hope might seem in short supply these days. As I’ve been walking around, I’ve noticed rainbows in people’s windows. Apparently, it’s a campaign to cheer up others when children are spending more time inside. Alongside this display of family art (like the one above), I like to think these are also ‘symbols to hope’. From the earliest chapters of the Old Testament, throughout millennia and up to today, human beings have longed for reasons to hope. Psalm 130:7 reminds us to ‘Hope in the Lord, for with him is steadfast love’ – that the place to direct our hope is God. In these times when we’re not sure what the next days of weeks might hold, let us hear the Psalmist’s encouragement to turn to the Lord, hope in God, and bring him our worries and prayers.

Lord – in these uncertain times may we truly understand what it means to place our hope in you.

Amen.


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