“It’s only just sinking in that I haven’t been inside a church since March,” remarked the chap next to me in the pew – on the occasion of attending a service in person.
The stained glass, though artistically not particularly distinguished, was what ‘did it’ for him: “totally eclipses the social-distancing signs.” Then he grinned: “God is not going to let a virus outshine Him!”
Julian would, I think, agree. She would certainly sympathise with his view that this was “real Church!” ie an event which at least some people can physically participate in. It was an interesting remark as I know that in his own church he is one of those who make on-line worship happen – and happen really rather well.
We are body as well as mind/spirit; and we are social creatures. Julian’s anchorhold did not cut her off from social contact. On the contrary, it made her more able to meet 1:1 with all sorts of people.
I consider that what we suffer now doesn’t bear comparison with the glory to come.
When I was sick, I really did think I was about to die; I was sad because I was young. Even so, it seemed to me that this brief life was trivial compared with Endless Bliss.
(Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 3)
Thank you, God,
that we are fearfully
and wonderfully made,
each of us,
individually and collectively.
Thank you that You have an eternal purpose for each of us,
individually and collectively,
Many of us will need to be quite gentle easing ourselves back into off-line social contact and travel. There is such a thing as sensory overload; also the having to think through what is socially responsible and what is good for each of us in our own individual circumstances.
A reflection from Jennifer Brooker ObJN, who has been a frequent visitor of Sarum College. She has a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and master’s degree in theology awarded by Durham University.