After the novelty of lockdown, many people’s spirits have dipped, and moods darkened. Coming to terms with the loss of freedom, work, schedules, seeing family & friends face to face, and the need for new routines, with which to survive & thrive, often involves sinking before we come up for the fresh air of the new life in changed circumstances. In the management of change there are ‘early adopters’ (20%?) who quickly accept the necessity for change, ‘rabid opponents’ (20%?) who detest change, and most of us who can be persuaded either way.

The new Covid-19 threatened world, however temporary or long term, is a breeding ground for anxiety and fear. Oh, how we need God’s Help and Hope found in the Easter Story!

On Palm Sunday Jesus starts his descent from the peak popularity & acclaim to the depth of disdain & pain in crucifixion. Private & public aspirations & dreams are dashed by Jesus’ choice to die on the cross. Death precedes resurrection, like the seed sown in dark soil, life as we know it sometimes must be buried before new life & character can grow.  Denial – “This can’t be happening!” Fear – “We might be next!” Anger – “How dare you / he / they!” Resistance – “I’ll not believe it unless I see it with my own eyes!” Acceptance – “Jesus, You know that I love you!” Testing – “Throw your nets on the other side.” Relearning – “Feed my sheep.” Integration – “Let’s go into all the earth with my message of hope & new life…”

‘Game Changer’ is a frequent phrase in this viral fight: Covid-19 Tests, Ventilators, & especially a Vaccine some of the important game changers. But The Bible points to the ultimate game changer in Jesus’ victory over death, and hope of everlasting life.

It is inspiring how many are mobilising to support one another in community at this time! For as long as lockdown lasts, Fr Willie & I have the chance to celebrate this community spirit with guests, track requests, reflections, banter & laughter in an hourlong Shoes Brothers’ Show, 8pm each Sunday (Irvine Beat FM 107.2). It’s Dad’s Army meets MASH or Bing Crosby joins Bob Hope to entertain the troops. As per usual we make it up as we go along but pray it will lighten some spirits and encourage us, at our different stages of journeying through grief and change. It’s hopefully a show people of faith and no faith can come together around some tunes, community chat & talk about faith, hope & love.

With or without faith, what we all surely have in common is the growing realisation of how ‘out of our depth’ we all are, in need of help from out with our own power & ability.

As Prof D MacLeod says in his excellent article ‘The Coronovirus – Can any words help?’ “May God grant our leaders generous measures not only of wisdom, but of humility; and may he grant all of us the grace to go on our knees and cry, ‘Lord, we’re way out of our depth. Have pity on us and save us.’ “

In the prophet’s words, God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young adults stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint.”(Isaiah 40:29-31)

Go Safe & Well my Friends!