CORONAVIRUS: A message of hope from the Vicar of Stratford

Rev Patrick Taylor

SO much in our lives that was familiar has changed or stopped happening very quickly.

We don’t really know how long this will last or what might happen next.

Most of us are used to living fairly predictable lives where we feel we’re in control (most of the time!) of what’s happening to us.

But most of this has been suddenly stripped away and we are anxious about what the future will hold and whether we can do anything to change it.

I have a small card with a prayer printed on it which I’ve kept by my bedside for many years.

The words are taken from a service called compline, which is said just before going to bed and includes an appeal to God that “we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world may rest upon your eternal changelessness.”

In all the change that is happening so quickly, in all the worry and concern, God remains constant and stays with us.

As a verse from the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”

As so much around us changes, hold on to the things that haven’t changed: cherish time with your loved ones; enjoy seeing the spring blossom and the promise of summer; accept each day as a gift to be lived to the full as much as you can; hold on to what you believe in; be kind to others.

At Holy Trinity church, so much has changed. Public worship may have been suspended and the church building closed to visitors, but we haven’t stopped being a church.

We are still doing what has always been at the heart of who we are: praying and caring for others, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.

It can be easy to focus on what we’ve lost and to get frustrated that we can’t be in control of things we take for granted.

But change brings with it new opportunities for living and loving, and whatever happens as this crisis unfolds, the most important things – like faith, hope and love – will never change.