Sometimes when I watch the news I listen to a story that I find difficult to comprehend. I feel that although I hear the words they do not sink in and I cannot really grasp what I am hearing. This could be when the reporter speaks of a horrific murder or perhaps about some awful war crimes that have been committed. I have also experienced this too when I have received some sudden unexpected bad news. Not surprisingly this is how I am feeling about coronavirus.
I find myself regularly checking the BBC website to discover the latest news. I read about many people catching coronavirus and some sadly dying from it. Numerous countries around the world are moving into lockdown banning various normal activities such as going out socially. I’m struggling to comprehend all that is happening and I suspect others are too.
Last Sunday the following happened at my church:
• We had to wash our hands as soon as we arrived at the building.
• We were not allowed to shake hands or hug anyone. Therefore when we shared the peace we had to stay in our seats and just nod at the other people in the congregation!
• No bibles were allowed to be given out (these are normally handed out when we arrive at church).
• Our kitchen was closed so we were unable to have any drinks after the service.
• We were not allowed to receive the wine during communion. It was just the bread. Our vicar was the only one allowed to drink the wine.
The above practices were as per instructions issued by the Church of England so if you worship in an Anglican church you too would have experienced this.
It looks increasingly likely that we will soon not be meeting for Sunday worship or even midweek housegroups, especially after the Prime Minister announced last Monday that “everyone should avoid social contact with others”.
What do we do when we face such overwhelming situations such as coronavirus? Psalm 61:2 tells us:
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (KJV)
I cannot think of anything else to suggest. The only hope we have in these strange and troubling times is to cry out to God: “Lord have mercy on us!”