A willingness to learn new habits and behaviours – the stretched-out queue waiting to be admitted to the Tesco, Belmont, Hereford.
Image credit: Ian Greig

Thought of the day

Luke 9:23-24 NIV
Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it.

Ian Greig writes: My thought today is not about the difficulties, anxieties and losses from Covid 19, real though they are. The other side of the coin is the huge outflow of good that is being seen, not just in hospitals and care homes but among neighbours and in goodwill within communities.

There is a growing realisation that we need one another. And at a challenging time, to support one another without condition. It looks like what we read in the Bible is just happening…

Many people are asking, what is God doing in all of this?Let’s be clear, He doesn’t bring sickness and hardship but at many time in history He has allowed it, and used it. What is intended for harm, He can turn to good.

The turning to good is not always seen directly. Much good political reform came out of the damage of two world wars, but the change was more about people gaining a will to live (and take decisions) differently, than a landmark moment.

What can we see God bringing out of the Covid-19 pandemic? What are we seeing that is good, creative, caring – that reflects God’s goodness? You might add to my list…

  • Selfless dedication (as we clap the NHS and carers)
  • Neighbourly kindness, caring and (in certain ways) sharing
  • Exploration: people seeking and finding spiritual insights and answers
  • Self-discipline: the majority sticking to the guideline restrictions
  • Social creativity: people finding new ways to socialise
  • Innovation and development: from ‘Formula 1’ positive air pressure devices to ‘Airbus’ and ‘Dyson’ ventilator machines and apps for group conversations and streaming.
  • Cycling, running, walking: distancing outdoors
  • Learning new habits: from handwashing to the stretched-out queue and maintaining distance in the aisles.
  • Reflection and slower pace: where the practice of mindfulness was bolted on to busy routines, now restrictions make us think about what we are feeling and doing, and learn as we go.

Very few of these will have been motivated by the thought of being Jesus’s disciples, or even if the cost of followership. They are doing what they believe is right, having put personal gain to one side and personal cost to the other side.

Their beliefs might not yet have caught up with who Jesus is, but their values are reflecting HOW Jesus is. And that, to me, looks like the beginnings of a move of God.

Link to prayer

A suggested prayer on this theme

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