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A strange interlude?

"There is a time for everything... a time to be silent and a time to speak." Ecclesiastes 3. 1,7

While the roads and restaurants empty, the airways are choking with opinions and advice in relation to the coronavirus crisis. Once we have acted swiftly to protect the vulnerable, safeguard the livelihoods of our workforce and enable the education of our children and students, we need God's guidance for how to respond faithfully to our strange new circumstances. The temptation will be to rush into all sorts of worthy initiatives, to look after each other. Already social media are on the look-out for heroic examples to propel/ shame us into action. But let's remember that what matters is that we meet people's genuine needs and to discern these we need to start by listening. At a deeper level, we should probably also be asking what permanent changes this crisis might be calling for? After all, it hasn't happened in a vacuum but in the midst of climate-change, civil wars and international conflict, growing income disparities, slavery, celebrity culture... the list goes on. As Christians, our horizon lies beyond - in the new creation. But rather than ignoring our present challenges, this gives us a bright, rather than a gloomy, reason to engage. If the future is governed by your worst nightmare, then the best you can hope to achieve is damage limitation; but if you are looking forward to heaven coming to earth, then every constructive act is charged with eternal significance...

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