Good afternoon folks
Yesterday the FM, Nicola Sturgeon, announced further measures to ease the lockdown restrictions which have been in place since the 24th March. The signs are positive even though the measures have been introduced with a great deal of caution and caveat. Suppressing the virus is crucial to the lockdown measures being increasingly eased and lifted. It will be great to be able to get out and about as before and to see folks, although there is always the element of maintaining social distance when we do so.
So, the news is good and the prospects are better and the Summer is still with us so that is all very positive.
What of getting back to church, or to the buildings at least? The FC Offices are urging caution as far as this is concerned, even when Phase 3 is entered into. There's concern over being in close proximity with each other and in particular for those with underlying health concerns the risk of contracting and being adversely affected by Covid-19 is high and dangerous. So we need to take it easy as far as returning to church is concerned and Central Offices are issuing guidance regularly as lockdown measures are eased.
I'm thankful that we've been able to meet virtually on Facebook and Zoom and though this is not ideal I think the usefulness of these social media platforms has certainly made an impression on me. I would not be averse to continuing to use these when necessary or useful as the future unfolds and it may well be that this will be a means we'll use for other church-related meetings which are sometimes difficult to have because of distances involved.
I will certainly be keeping you all informed as things progress.
These months have been really difficult, bringing stresses and strains upon us and our families that we could not have anticipated. Perhaps for you, they have brought to light issues that you've not been aware of or matters you've not addressed because in the normal routine of your daily life they just didn't feature large or loud. But lockdown has meant slow down and that can actually lead to a showdownwith such things. You cannot get away from it.
I am thankful to the Lord that in al of this he has not changed or moved at all. Jesus came into this world and into our lives with this mission to fulfill:
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour' (Luke 4. 18-19 [Isaiah 61. 1-2])
And as he made his way from village to village and house to house meeting a whole variety of folks, this was the message he embodied, explained, and expressed. So, whatever the issue, the message was the same- good news, freedom, recovery, release, favour through faith in him. Whatever the showdown issue, Jesus is the answer. I hope and pray that this will have been what you have found out to be true for yourself as I have for myself.
May the Lord bless us with His grace and favour and may we remember his mission in whatever we have to have a showdown with.
Take care and God bless
Rev Colin L Macleod