Tuesday 24th March

Quarantine means 40 days. It was first used in the fourteenth century for ships suspected of carrying plague quarantined off the coast of Venice for 40 days. It came to refer to the 40 days of Jesus in the wilderness and, of course, our 40 days of Lent. It's a time to do things differently, when our usual means of achieving status or significance don't work. It's a temptation to mingle with the crowd. Perhaps in the local park. Lent is an opportunity to hear God's call in new ways, to be disciples and parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, friend, neighbour etc in new ways. The wilderness is often when we face ourselves most starkly and most uncomfortably. So please be gentle with yourselves, slow to judge and quick to forgive, drawing from the love of God who is the very ground of our being. And pray some more.

Thoughts from: Revd Ian Bussell

 

 

Living at home during a time of quarantine there are bits of the bible which resonate less:

Mark 7v5 Jesus not making a big deal about hand washing

Luke 5. 17-26 A paralytic lowered into a crowded room

Luke 9 Jesus sending his 12 friends to go out and mix

John 2 Jesus at a wedding in which, due to the numbers, vast quantities of drink are required

John 9v6 Jesus curing blind eyes with his spittle

 

However there are other bits of the bible which really come alive right now. Especially God’s promises given to us in the bible:

Matthew 11.28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest”.

Isaiah 43.2 “When you go through deep waters I’ll be with you.”

John 3.16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”.

2 Corinthians 5.17 “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation, everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new!”

Ephesians 2.8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God”.

 

 

A hymn full of biblical promises written by F.W. Faber (1814-1863)

1/ There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;

here’s a kindness in his justice which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven;

there is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgement given.

 

2/ For the love of God is broader than the measures of man’s mind;

and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.

But we make his love too narrow by false limits of our own;

and we magnify his strictness with a zeal he will not own.

 

3/ There is plentiful redemption in the blood that has been shed;

there is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.

There is grace enough for thousands of new world as great as this;

there is room for fresh creations in the upper home of bliss.

 

4/ If our love were but more simple, we would take him at his word;

and our lives would be all gladness in the joy of Christ our Lord.

 

 

Light a candle for

  • all who are unwell, isolated, lonely and worried
  • those who care for others, whether as family or friends, or as doctors, carers and all the health professionals
  • teachers, supermarket workers, drivers, the emergency services and other key workers
  • countries whose health system is being overwhelmed


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