Thought for the Week

By Rev Bill Armstrong (Retired)

So, the Prime Minister has published his long-awaited ‘Roadmap out of the Pandemic’, delivered with a heavy dose of cautious optimism. By the first day of summer our southern neighbours will be freed from the restrictions imposed off and on since last March. Should present trends continue – that infection rates go down, that the NHS is no longer overwhelmed, that death rates have diminished, and most have submitted to the ‘jag’, the hope is that life will revert to something like the way it was more than twelve months ago. His pronouncement is at least a hopeful indication despite the ‘ifs and buts’.

Our First Minister has come up with a similar, though less-detailed programme.

For thousands of years peoples have followed God’s ‘Roadmap’. The Children of Israel, for example, had been slaves in Egypt for longer than anybody could remember. Their rescuer, Moses, encouraged them to up-sticks and go. The carrot was that at the end of their journey they would reach the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey; but the journey seemed to be interminable and they began to complain bitterly. It took forty years; but there were reasons for the extended time trek. The people had to be transformed in mind and heart, from slavery to freedom.

I don’t think of the Pandemic in terms of the Exodus but it may be that humanity should be encouraged to think differently about our future; that by what we have experienced throughout our seemingly interminable journey, people have risen to the challenge of neighbourly concern. Sacrifices have been made by many and we should be grateful. I hope and pray that in our living we would follow that same example in times to come.

At present and throughout Lent, Christian people are journeying with Jesus to the cross. He had a ‘Roadmap’ from which he knew he could not deviate. The Bible says: ‘He set his face resolutely to go to Jerusalem’, and there to give his life in love for all humanity.

Should we not take our bearings from him?