It seems to me that spring sunshine makes lockdown a little more bearable, and certainly there is a sense of tentative optimism as we look forward to moving into a different level of restriction. The news of vaccination success helps, but I am still conscious that we have just emerged from the most miserable winter on record. Some of you will remember the winter of 1963, and some of you may even remember the winter of 1948. But for me, 2020-21 was just so hard for many - perhaps the worst winter! It’s been about so much more than just the weather. We all know the sort of things we have been struggling with here in Morningside and across Scotland and the world.
Many clergy have used the past few months to preach about hope, which is surely the strongest of human emotions, and in this post Easter time, we can see that spring is emerging - splashing colour and new life around us. This adds to a sense of guarded optimism, and this is a joy! It has been great to meet people rejoicing in family reunions, albeit outside. It’s wonderful our older people in care can be visited. I have been delighted to hear several ladies and men tell me of their relief at being able to visit the hairdresser or to make plans to return to the gym or swimming. There is a palpable sense of hope.
Here in the church, we too are planning to return to life to bring back the normality we can only remember from more than a year ago. It will happen slowly - the gradual return of simple things such as refreshments after services, social groups and even singing. We will keep you all informed as these things become possible. --But even the thought of it feels good.
I am also conscious that in some way and at some point, we shall need to look back in remembrance for those we have lost, and to give thanks for those who have worked so hard to keep us fed and cared for over this unprecedented time. I am conscious too of those who are financially compromised by the economic fallout of the pandemic, those using foodbanks, those exhausted by providing care services or working in the NHS. Even now, in this time of lengthening days and spring warmth, there are those much worse off than us and in much greater need of hope!
Pray for them, pray for the Church and pray above all for those you love best. Might the light and hope of Easter fall upon all of us as we emerge from this lockdown.
- Rev. Steven
The Link is a monthly publication by members and staff of Morningside United Church.