Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are an Easter people. Alleluia is our song!
Welcome to worship, for some in person, but still many virtually.
There is progress happening and a gradual opening up of opportunities for more face to face engagement. Please read carefully the page in the bulletin that relates to how we need to operate still with the threat of COVID-19. Today I invited particularly some of the people who have not been able to access any online services in the past weeks. I hope we will be able to have others in a similar position in the next couple of weeks as well as those who have been able to join in, by Youtube and Zoom. Next Sunday is surnames P-Z, so please let me know if you fall in that category about whether you would like to come. I will quite understand if there are folk who still want to distance themselves from more public gatherings due to health or other reasons, so please don’t feel you are letting anyone down by wanting to simply stay at home.
Today’s Gospel has something to encourage us all in the ways we have been practicing isolation. It is to realise that when we are alone, we are never really alone. Jesus says, “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” Jesus promised his disciples that he would be with them always, through his advocate, the Holy Spirit. This remains a promise for us too. The reminders of knowing him are all around us; as we read the Scriptures, in our prayers, through our own actions and the actions of others. This is particularly so as we are aware of his commandments: to love God and love one another. On paper it sounds easy, but it is a challenge to mission we have to rise to each and every day.
How might we go about loving the people we are in contact with this week, especially with social distancing? How are we loving God?
May you journey well with the risen Christ day by day.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.