Steph & Simon's Blog 

Welcome to our blog. Here you will find some of the reflections and thoughts on church life, leadership and general life from Steph Littlejohn (Minister) and Simon Lace (Team Leader). We hope you enjoy it!

Good from Bad

In a previous blog; “The Last Shall be First” I highlighted the way that we see our values are being challenged as we value and appreciate people we might not have before. This surely is a good thing coming out of bad.

Our God brings good out of bad. The terrible crucifixion of Jesus brings great good out of bad, as our sins are paid for and our relationship with God is healed. So what good is God bringing out of the bad of this situation?
Click here to view an amazing poem that talks about this pandemic and the way that good could come from it.  It is called “The  Great Realisation” (and why hindsight is 2020).

Ecologically much good seems to be coming out of the bad.
Nitrogen dioxide levels have dropped by 40%. Germany may achieve its climate goal of lowering CO2 levels easily this year. Venice has clear water, and the smog has gone from cities in China and India. Suddenly we see how different the world could be. Is God helping our planet to heal because we wouldn’t head the warnings? But the question is, will we just return to business as usual and not take advantage of the gains that we have made? People are already talking about not wanting to go back, but creating a new normal. This is a hopeful sign, but busier roads are not.

We are rightly appalled at the death toll of the Coronavirus. We need a cure, and a vaccine. We’ve rightly made adjustment to our lives, to reduce the number of infections and deaths. Up to the time of writing there have been 350,000 deaths worldwide due to Covid-19. But the 7 million people who die each year because of air pollution go unremarked. We know how to prevent these deaths, but are we prepared to make the adjustments? Is God challenging us through what is happening? Are we hearing His voice?

We are also realising how much we need human contact. We are getting to know neighbours that we barely spoke to before. It has been wonderful to see the way people are being creative in the ways that they try to encourage one another: Postmen dressing up in fancy dress, dance classes held in the streets and musicians giving digital concerts, etc. It has also been inspiring to see how communities are coming together to support each other.  One of our church members, Sarah, lives in Bristol and she sent me this link to a news item about how someone in her street is organising shopping for everyone in Queen Victoria Rd.

There is also evidence that there is a spiritual awakening. Many people in this country are accessing church services online. 30% of 18-25 year olds are doing this. Many people are Googling “prayer” and just under 50% of the population have said they have started praying since the pandemic. This is surely a good thing that is coming out of the bad.

We have been given us an opportunity to get off the treadmill and take time to realise what is really important to us, and hopefully we will be wise enough to create a new normal that is nearer to God’s vision for our lives. That way an enormous amount of good could come out of this bad.

It has also been a way of dragging some of us into the digital world.
The only trouble is that you can’t get away from your boss. Enjoy this very creative video about a very unusual zoom meeting.

Stay well, stay safe and stay connected.

Steph Littlejohn, 27/05/2020


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