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Reflection for Thursday 23rd April | Barn Church Kew

I was very interested to read Richard Everett’s moving poem, which Michael shared
with us on Tuesday in so timely a fashion.
I think a lot of us are probably feeling like this just at the moment. The Coronavirus
lockdown seems to continue with little real hope of a resolution in the short term. We
are in a place we have never been before and we need comfort and assurance – and a
hug as well!!
Over the last two thousand years, the World has gone through many horrible times –
everything from plague to War. I am sure that many of my grandparents’s generation
must have asked where God was during the two World Wars and the Spanish flu
epidemic. Just as the families of our own intrepid front-line health care staff must be
asking when their relatives have gone down with, and in some cases died, from COVID

  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
    In my sermon next Sunday, I will conclude with the words of Jesus just before the
    Ascension. “And be assured, I am with you always to the end of time”. It is not always
    easy to appreciate this promise, but as Christians it is a fundamental part of our faith.
    Jesus is always there, even if sometimes it may not be too immediately obvious.
    As I look at the pictures in the media of people not obeying the social distancing rules
    and thus risking their own health and that of others, I think of the people of Eyam in
    Derbyshire. Eyam became known as the plague village, because in 1665, when bubonic
    plague broke out in the village, the entire population got together and agreed, under the
    guidance of their Rector, to close the village. They agreed to go into self-imposed
    quarantine and not allow anyone into or out of the village to contain the plague. For as
    long as it took. They stayed like this for fourteen months and two hundred and sixty
    people died, which was about three quarters of the population. They must have
    wondered where God was, but their faith held firm and they did their duty and many
    people in the area were saved by their selflessness.
    I sincerely hope that the Coronavirus pandemic does not last for anywhere near as long
    as fourteen months. But the example of these folk over three hundred years ago – of
    their faith and concern for others should be an inspiration to us as we continue to go
    through worrying and depressing times.
    And, while rejoicing in the promise that Jesus is with us always, it is still okay to scream
    if you want to!!

Richard Austen