Thought for the month – Provided by Alison Heal – Congregational Worship Leader.
I don’t really think that there’s anything I can add to what others have already written about Covid 19, about the lockdown, about personal tragedies, about illness and fear for the future, about the bravery and sacrifice of health workers and others on the front line, about the struggles and the pleasures of a forced stay at home.
Instead, I’d just like to let you know a bit about how your personal paths through the lockdown influenced our own, as we were shut down in a small flat, without a balcony in the centre of Nîmes.
At first, the two of us thought that the lockdown basically meant an end to our Christian fellowship with you at St Michael’s in the Gard. We might be nearer to you geographically, but our main church in Lyon was running daily Morning Prayer and weekly Sunday services on Zoom, from day one. My involvement in the worship, and the requirements to take on some of the pastoral care, plus my teaching job, meant that my now-online life was almost entirely focussed on Lyon, not the Gard.
We decided to join you for one of Eddy’s Zunday services, and shortly after that, the lockdown was lifted to the point where we could leave 2 Nîmes city centre and travel somewhere GREEN! We had totally forgotten the pleasure of walking on grass, and I was spellbound by the sounds of birdsong. But the 100km limit was still in place, and we had to remain in the Gard. This is when kind members of St Michael’s started offering us a corner of their garden for camping, or a mini-gîte, for a weekend away. Suddenly, we found that Covid- 19 had not cut us off from the congregation, but had opened up new opportunities for others to give and for us to receive. We were humbled and incredibly grateful at the way those who could, opened their gardens for us, and those who couldn’t showed in other ways that we were still a part of your congregation.
Covid 19 has shown us all that we are in considerably less control over our lives than we previously thought. I am grateful to God that He is in control, and it’s probably for my own good that I’ve been reminded that my life isn’t in my hands, it’s in His.
“Now to him, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”