Lockdown 3 – What a way to begin a New Year

Here we go again – another lockdown

On the one hand, it came as no surprise that we should be locked down yet again. In Greater Manchester, it has practically become the norm over the past year to be able to do very little, other than in or with your own household. But, as the message sunk in last night, so it was accompanied by the inevitable sinking of the heart. Here we go again…our liberties have been curbed even further.

It is so hard for so many people, especially those who are unable to leave their homes at all. There are a significant number who have not done any of those things we have previously taken for granted and considered ‘normal’ for months. Only today I was speaking to a family who have not visited a shop since March. Their only exercise, their only interaction with the outside world is a daily walk in the local park.

And all of this is having a dramatic and damaging affect upon mental health. Even the most upbeat of people are finding it hard to keep their heads up and above the water of doom that threatens to drown them.

But this time it is different. It has to be different, because as we move from week to week, from month to month in this new year, so does the roll out of the vaccine, which is the promise, the hope for a brighter future for us all.

This weekend we recall the Baptism of Christ and we are reminded that we are Baptised with the Holy Spirit and that Christ dwells within us. He walks with us through every difficult moment. He shares our joys and our sorrows.

A friend posted on Facebook yesterday that he had left his Christmas lights up at the window. The other decorations are down, but he is keeping the lights there as a sign of cheer to anybody who passes. Maybe we could all take a leaf out of his book and keep, if not our Christmas lights, at least some form of light shining in the darkness of the winter days and nights ahead. Things will get brighter, the days will lengthen, the sun will shine and hopefully, by that time we will all be living in the light of realisation that things are improving.

As I sit writing this my phone has just rung – it is my dad’s GP telling me that they are about to immunise him against Covid-19. It is real. It is happening. It is already touching families and will continue to do so. I know I am in Group 6, Mick before me, in Group 5 – it will happen. It will roll out to us all and gradually we will reclaim our lives.

We will sing to the glory of God again, we will be able to fully take the elements of Holy Communion, we will party again, we will celebrate again and most importantly we will hug and hold each other again.

In the meantime I am sending a virtual hug to anybody who needs one. Please do not hesitate to phone or email me, Wendy, Mick or the Wardens if you are in need of somebody to talk to. We are here for you.

God Bless