I can well remember as a young lad in the 50’s and early 60’s being told by my mother, “ you may not like it but it is good for you”.

Cod-liver oil, noise drops that went down the back of your throat, a bowl of Friars’ Balsum, ‘ Vick’ rubbed on your chest. I am sure many of you can remember a lot worse!  Well of course, mother was always right and it did ‘do you good’, in the end.

We have been told in the last few days, by Boris our ‘marmite’ Prime Minister (like him or dislike him) and by his many advisers, very clearly what is good for all of us as individuals and also for the far greater good of others.  There will always be, unfortunately, those who will disagree, believe that they know better and will not be told what to do by anyone!

I am very much reminded of the Book of Exodus in the Bible, a very good time now to revisit some of these stories, when Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the desert for 40 years. If you really want to know about an argumentative, at times miserable and ungrateful group of people, then look no further than here!  Yet in the end, as God had always promised them, they were delivered into a land ‘of milk and honey’.

None of us want to wait 40 years, although please do not believe as ‘some across the water’ would have us believe, that this epidemic will soon be over, I do not believe that this is true.  In my book of Favourite Prayers, is the following, “Out of the gloom a voice said unto me, ’Smile and be happy, things could be worse’. So I smiled and was happy, and behold they did get worse.”

We must all take responsibility for our own actions and how they effect those around us, we must all pray daily for those who fight this terrible virus, and for those thousands who have lost their fight against it; but let us do so with as much good grace and love as we can, for as the saying goes, ‘Laugh and the World laughs with you, cry and you cry alone’.  I know that looking ahead there will very likely be times when we may all shed a tear, but as with the Hebrews if we hold on to our faith in God, then there will be new life and new beginnings in the end.   Amen.

M.J. Tonkin