Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Day Eight of Being Closed - Faith not Fear

On Tuesday I have a day off each week- so no post. This is the Sabbath that God commands us to keep and I do my utmost not to work. This meant then that the first day after the big Lockdown was announced was a day of rest for me. It was good to know that we had already shut the church, with the heating off and everything tidied away. So the day of rest started with a run and then was taken up with mostly reading with time for recovering and a bit of tidying.

The book that I've recently started took me back to the battlefields of the first world war that we'd visited just a couple of weeks ago on a trip to Belgium - yes we managed to get that one in before everything stopped. It was good to be sitting in the sunshine as I read of the mud, blood and industrial slaughter that provides an alternative perspective to what we are facing now. As a TV presenter said this week, our current crisis is demanding that we stay home and watch the tele; not quite the same league as being told to leave a trench into a hail of machine gun bullets.

But what struck me today is how we need to remember to focus first thing, before all that news of the state of the world and the numbers infected hits us. Each morning Debs and I read the Bible before getting up. My current plan for doing this is an app on my phone that takes me through the whole Bible in one year. What I noticed this morning was that I'd been looking at the news app before the Bible app and that was not good. In days like these we need to be first focussed on faith if we want to keep on top of the fear. God's word gives us that firm foundation upon which the rest of the day can stand. It provides peace for the soul and space for a proper perspective to develop. Today's reading was from the book of Numbers in the Old Testament and was spookily appropriate in speaking of how people needed to be isolated outside the camp for seven days if they had succumbed to an infection.

Being isolated inside changes lots of things. It changes how we see the world and all that we have taken for granted for so long. It also changes how we see ourselves and who we really are. Often we are defined in our society by what we do. Now that doing part of our lives been stripped away. Now we have an opportunity to be. To settle into that place where can be comfortable as human beings not merely human doings.

As we realise that we are but dust we can rediscover that sense of wonder. We can start to live with faith in the one true God who came to deal once for all with the fear that keeps us from being set free.

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