16 May 2020: as lockdown ends.

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The storms of life will abate. Yes, there is a need to heed the word of the Lord and be faithful during the trial, and for most of this week the scriptures have been around the great flood in the time of Noah or Paul being driven by a storm to a shipwreck. But the great flood did pass, and the time of this virus will also pass.

And we will emerge. Virus or no virus, that which cannot continue for ever will not. What we do in the time of the storm will either set us up for the time that follows, or leave us bereft. For many in trials are damaged and destroyed: they turn not to God but instead worship their own understanding or the rulers of this age.

Genesis 8:13-19

13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

We came out of lockdown on Thursday this week. This means that Kea and I have to go and to some work in a distant area that would normally done around Easter. I am programming the lectionary posts to allow us to get these things done. We have been stuck at our homes for six weeks. The world has changed, and not necessarily for the better. I’m aware that in other places the lockdown continues, as the economists and physicists consult their models and ignore clinicians and epidemiologists who have learned, years ago, to mistrust such.

But our security is not dependent on the storm.

John 14:27-29

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

It is Christ who gives us peace. He will come to us. The end is written. Our actions now will have consequences, not merely in our lives, but in our communities. We need to be shining on a hill, the city may be broken indeed, but the church will be refined, pure, and glorious.

So shun the virtue signalling. Ignore those who want to account your salvation by prosperity. Choose instead to hold tightly to Christ. He is our ark in the storm, and when the time is over, we will be able to say that God has blessed and preserved us, for his greater glory.

And the fears that the elite demand we have? We can choose to leave them aside.

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