As we started our reflections on the subject of ‘Gospel Partnerships’ last month, we recognised that our relationships with each other, with other congregations and above all with God all point to the importance of inter-dependence – dependence upon each other – to finding our place in God’s family and our role in church and community life.
That principle was powerfully illustrated during the recent cold spell of weather. Whilst Windsor may have got away relatively lightly with the impact of the ‘beast from the east’, others were not so fortunate. As I write, a week on from the worst of the weather, I’m watching a report from a community in Cumbria that was cut off for several days. People were trapped in their houses by snow drifts covering their doors; they had to ration food, and power was lost for a while – there was even mention of some having to burn their furniture to stay warm.
In the midst of that crisis, the community pulled together to help each other. Farmers cleared the minor roads that councils could not prioritise; many phone calls were made to ensure that neighbours were safe; others made contact with the local authorities and even managed to organise a helicopter drop of food and supplies.
Often it’s in times of crisis that the strength of any family or community shines through in their concern for one another. As we approach Easter once more, I am reminded that God sent his son Jesus into this world because we had become cut off from him by choosing to do things our way instead of his. As human beings, made in his image, we are part of his creation; his children. We were made to be in community with him. So, in our time of crisis, he could not ignore our need. Jesus gave his life on the cross so that we need no longer be cut off from God, and he rose from death to demonstrate that he had dealt with our problem once and for all. He did it to show that we can have a new start in community with God and with each other, instead of, as it were, being ‘snowed in’ on our own.
Whatever challenges you may face at the moment, may you know the power of the risen Jesus giving you hope for a new start; and may you know the encouragement and help of others as a sign of the community that we’re called to be.
With my love and prayers