responding to the Gospel of god's love in Christ

A Message of Reflection

from Reverend Malcolm Jones
Circuit Superintendent Minister

Dear All,
Until about 3 weeks ago I was expecting March 29th at Central to be my last service before my sabbatical, so I’m missing seeing you all. My last service was at Barry’s funeral, back on the 15th, which seems a lifetime ago, as the Corona Virus Crisis has changed our lives so radically in the meantime.
I hope you are all finding that you are adapting to this strange situation, and that you are getting what you need, whether that is food, supplies or medicine, virtual contact with family and friends (even the phone is virtual!), exercise or spiritual refreshment. Please feel that you can call on your pastoral visitor to pass on any messages requesting help, and there do seem to be several local initiatives using volunteers to provide it.
You may have seen on the church website my reflection on the opening of Luke 24:13-35, how Jesus draws near to us as we walk through this difficult situation. If we go further into the passage, we see that for many, as for the disciples, all that they relied upon has disappeared, and they have gone through a time of grief as Jesus died on the cross, before being given the hope that he had risen.
They, and we, have to go back to the basic necessities of life. As we have seen, that can mean panic buying and selfishly depriving others of necessary items. On the other hand, there seem to be multiple examples of acts of kindness being offered to neighbours. We are still able to communicate with our church friends and a familiar voice is reassuring. I would like to assure you that I am still around at home for most of the next few months, and available for a chat on the phone if needed. Please leave a message on the answerphone if I’m not around.
Even as the two friends welcomed Jesus into their home for a simple meal (which we clearly can’t do at the moment), it was only then that they recognised him in the familiar action of breaking bread. I hope we can find that we recognise Jesus at work in our own lives in those simple acts of kindness, even if we have to keep our physical distance!
I hope that we can find a way back to normal life sooner rather than later, that we may find our hearts burning within us as Jesus imparts his Holy Spirit when out of  the death of so many things we hold dear, we may find hope rising as we celebrate Easter in our homes.
Every blessing,