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Worshipping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Rainbow Society

Friends in Christ, in my frustration about my present situation in these troubled times I e-mailed my Bishop complaining of my inactivity for Christ. He reminded me of the Desert Fathers who, "went to their cells to discover themselves". Such is the journey that I am on now. However it took me in an entirely unexpected direction. I was looking at a picture of rainbow painted by a child, to be a symbol of hope and joy in these fearful times, but it is much more than that. The rainbow, in ancient biblical times, followed a disaster of earth changing proportions - a great flood, which is the subject of many myths and legends spreading across the entire religious experience of the Middle East which the Bible records. Whether the flood was the result of a catastrophic eruption and a consequential massive tsunami that followed I leave to the scholars, but what my mind focused on was the rainbow - a symbol from God - that whatever the calamity mankind would not be overcome.

So the children are right to remind us of the hope for humankind in this most colourful symbol . But it is more for it is nothing less than a symbol, a reminder, of the constant giving nature of God. I am minded that there is no black and white in this symbol , so no room for extremist views. Each wonderful colour merges one into the other to give us the multiplicity of Gods caring nature in all its wonderful form. Where will we experience this? In some powerful sign that will put all things right for these troubled times by a divine act that will remove the Corona Virus instantaneously? I cannot know the mind of God but I can know the signs of the constant loving and giving nature of God. Recently I have seen it in the tired yet determined faces and natures of our doctors, nurses, carers, social workers, politicians, both national and local, our radio and TV presenters and yes our Queen, but particularly in the delivery of food by loving caring people, the sound of a friendly voice on the phone and in the act of a little child laying a bunch of flowers o-n the doorstep of a confined elderly person - the manifestations of God's caring are too numerous to list - but the point is the symbol of the rainbow assures the needy, the fearful, the lonely and each one of you, whether giving or receiving, that God's loving care is all around us - it is there right beside us.

For our part Julie Wainwright, our Reader, 01904426397 or myself 01904424823 are part of a team within our parish dedicated to helping such people, so please use them to meet your need, for they are happy to be extensions of God's love and care for you. I would also mention Nick Wainwright, our computer wizard, is streaming acts of prayer and devotion and Laura, 103 Osbaldwick Lane, who wishes her home to be used as a collection point for food items for the Food Banks. One final point we can all be rainbow people even though confined to our homes because we can all pray. The final promise of Jesus to his disciples before his suffering was to assure them of his prayers for them in their troubled times to come. Those prayers are still being said for each one of us by his Church and by our Saviour in the very presence of God.

A Celtic prayer - Father be on our right to council us, be on our left to console us, be behind to defend us, go before to lead us and be about us to bless us in our journey in these troubled times.

Please stay safe

Jack

Prayers for the outbreak

For those who are ill

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From one who is ill or isolated

O God,
help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me
from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


For the Christian community

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving, wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes wherever you call us.
Amen.

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