Rachel Writes – May 2020

I try to be open to surprise. As a Christian, I think this is an important attitude to cultivate. At the heart of our faith, after all, is the God of Surprises. This is the God who, to our utter shock, greets us in the garden outside the empty tomb on Easter Day. This is the God who, despite everything, says to us that we are worthy of love and forgiveness.

Nonetheless, if there is anyone out there who hasn’t been surprised by what has overtaken the world in the past few months, I’d be stunned! (At the time of writing) The rapidity with which the conditions under which we live have changed has left us all with our assumptions and expectations thrown over. While I’m sure we shall return to a new kind of normal in due course, right now, we are living through the strangest times in living memory.

 I’m really proud of the way in which our fellowship has met this crisis. I can’t thank our Warden team and Andrew, our stipendiary curate, enough. Fr. Alan has also been an absolute rock. However, what’s been most impressive is the way we’ve all sought to pull together. At St Nick’s I would expect nothing less, but it is a testimony to the love that holds between us. For, as the Bible says, where there is love, there God is. Love can be treated as an abstract. That’s all very well, but as the current crisis shows us, abstract things are not necessarily the most helpful. What helps us be grounded is embodied love. That is, love shown through action – through keeping in touch with one another, through prayer and connection. I know no one can always get this right, but I’ve had so many conversations in the past few weeks that have encouraged me.

By the time you read this I hope we shall have found even more effective ways of linking up with one another. None of us know quite how long the coronavirus crisis is going to impact our lives. What I want us to begin to think about now is how we not only model good fellowship, but how we can look forward to celebrating with one another when we are back together, face-to-face.

As Christians, we are a people who are made for feasting. Yes, we shall celebrate with partying and laughter and, as the People of God, we shall renew our Baptismal vows, among other important things. However, I hope we shall also join together in more: a foretaste of the Feast in Heaven. Here’s till we meet and do that again! Rachel x