We have an update from Revd Canon Liesbeth Oosterhof of the Shoreline Benefice:
For enquiries please contact revd canon liesbeth oosterhof: email@example.com / 01473 781902
If anything has been a bit of a problem over the last year, I think it has been keeping track of time. With our usual daily and weekly rhythms and patterns firmly messed about, there have been days when waking up, I had to think hard to work out what day of the week it was.
Easter feels already a long time ago, not in the least because it happened to fall right at the beginning of April. Based on experience before the pandemic, I had concluded that planning your life more than four or five years ahead was a complete waste of time… Oh, the good old days when we could plan a year ahead! Or even a month! What a luxury!
As you can probably tell, I had started writing my contribution for In Touch at the beginning of April. As I have picked up my pen again, we are at the beginning of the time of mourning the death of HRH Prince Philip. The stories about his life speak of a man who had learned how to make the best of bad situations early on in life.
That experience informed the enormous amount of good he has done for others, living a life of service supporting his own family and, in particular, by creating opportunities for young people around the world to grow into considerate, resilient adults through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Now, at the beginning of May, we are all looking forward to a further easing of the Covid-19 restrictions and preparing for the time when there are no restrictions left at all. That won’t mean that the virus will have gone away. It also doesn’t mean that everyone will feel comfortable to go about their business as freely as they were used to over a year ago.
For some life has changed beyond recognition. For others, the changes have been more subtle. In the time ahead we will have to support each other to again adjust by being patient, understanding and encouraging. Like it or not, we will all have changed.
All, that is, apart from God. He has been there for us to turn to when we were struggling most, as well as when we had cause to celebrate and be thankful. Remember that great hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness: “thou changest not, thou compassions they fail not”. It is a great comfort to know that whatever changes around us, our unchangeable God will be there for us to help us cope.
That wonderful hymn finishes:
“strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…”
My prayer for the time ahead is that, with apologies to Thomas Chisholm, the author of the hymn, we make sure that our blessings are not just ours, but fairly shared in our country and around the world.
With prayers and best wishes, Revd Canon Liesbeth Oosterhof
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