What an extraordinary time this is. The last time we were able to gather together to worship in our church building was coincidentally our Annual Celebration where we reflected on God’s goodness over the past 12 months and looked forward to what He is calling us to in the future. On that day, who could have believed that so much would change so quickly. Our lives have been turned upside down and shaken as never before.
But some things have not changed. God has still been good to us in the past, for which we give thanks. He is still calling us to trust him in the present and is worthy of all our trust. He still calls us to follow Him into an uncertain future, which He alone can see clearly. And so the shared life of our church community continues as a stabilising and familiar road through an unfamiliar landscape.
It has been incredibly humbling to witness and hear about so many acts of selfless love in our church in recent weeks. The sheer life that has sprung up has been astonishing. It strikes me that our new values “God Brings New Life” have taken on a new, prophetic edge in this chaotic and tragic time.
We have a part to play in bringing God’s light and hope to the world. So much has changed, but God and his church stand forever. He is faithful. It is very comforting to know we are a part of what one New Testament writer calls “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12.26).
As we respond to this situation, we are so proud of our team and we can see how much God has already been at work in making this team and all of our wonderful volunteers strong in the face of adversity. We feel we are already on an amazing Spirit-Led journey which has led us to this time and place.
Typical of this response is the fact that now, even during lockdown, you are reading a copy of The Bridge which has been put together under very difficult circumstances, including the poor health (though not the virus!) of Derrick Southon the editor, whom we remember in our prayers. Thank you to everyone who has made this edition possible, especially Miya Wassing (who began work on it during an extended trip to India and got back just before the lockdown) and Andrew Scott. At a time when it is so important to our mental health to train our thoughts on those things that are good and positive, it is perhaps fitting that this edition coincides not with Lent but with the Easter!
Thank you again for the love, creativity and courage I am hearing and seeing from all across our parish. It is a privilege to be part of this church community as we follow Jesus together. I look forward to seeing how the Spirit leads us in the weeks ahead.
I hope that as the clouds of the pandemic crisis darken, you have been able to see and enjoy rays of light and hope. There are plenty of them – the brightest by far being that Jesus is the light of the world. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1.5).
With my love and prayers,
This article, written by Rev Dave Bull, featured in the Easter 2020 edition of The Bridge – the magazine for All Saints’ Church in Marlow. Pick up your free copy in church or download it here.