This week MWiB’s Executive had planned to be on retreat for couple of days. Instead, we are endeavouring to keep some space to reflect and focus our thoughts around some Psalms, to try to be open to God’s voice, and to respond to what we read and consider in creative ways. So, I sat down for a while this morning and read through some of the suggested materials. Each Psalm I read in three versions – the NIV, The Message, and Psalms Poetry on Fire. Much of what I read seemed pertinent to our current situation. Psalm 58 in the Message and Poetry on Fire, also known as the Passion translation, particularly struck a chord. You may like to take a look and draw your own thoughts. I won’t comment on it further.
My thoughts in recent days have been hovering around renewal, and what are the elements that lead to renewal. Often, it seems it is something that follows some change, and that change can sometimes be quite dramatic. There has been a good deal of talk over recent times about whether the pandemic is a wake -up call urging humanity to do things differently. It is certainly true that many in what is known as the ‘developed world’ have taken more than a fair share of earth’s resources, and there seems to be growing recognition that a simpler approach to life is desirable and fairer to all.
A national lockdown is imminent as I write, although some politicians seem to be at odds with one another about its purpose. Much of the country is already very restricted increasing the concerns of isolation and wellbeing as well as adding to a general feeling of frustration that more progress in slowing the virus has not been made. It is hard to think there is anyone who is not being tested in one way or another this year, as our lives are changed from their previous patterns. Much has been said, and written, about ‘taking stock’ and reflecting on situations, and about making plans for the future which will have a different approach and pattern. There seems to be greater awareness of natural cycles, as people have engaged more with the environment, noticing its changes and the myriad of life forms that are supported. That natural cycle is exemplified by the trees. We notice them especially at this time of year. The photo above is of Mabel. You may remember that there was a photo of this tree from my garden a few weeks ago. She is now in her full Autumn glory. Already though the leaves are beginning to fall, helped along by some strong winds, and it won’t be too much longer before just bare branches are left to sustain the tree through the Winter. This annual process is not only dramatic, but brings with it an element of sadness as the glorious colours fall. We know however, that come Spring there will be renewal and new growth. Perhaps that is a message for us, that this time of restrictions, and apparent bareness, is preparing us for a time of renewal.