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"Love is what we need"

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Feb, 2021 07:18 PM

Bishop Nicholas has given a strong message of renewing hope even in these difficult times.

Speaking at Diocesan Synod on Saturday, via Zoom, he said:

“When there’s anxiety about the pandemic and its implications for the things we hold dear, it’s a good reminder that God is faithful and love is what we need in the best and the most difficult of times.”

In this, his Presidential Address to the Synod, the Bishop said:

“There’s a lot of talk in today’s Church about how the Gospel transforms lives and communities. Transforms, not in the sense of removing pain and difficulty but by transfiguring that pain and difficulty through love so that we bear it in a way that is transformed.

“The meaning of life is not how successful we are or how long we live but it is the quality of that life transfigured by the love of God and our responses to one another in the gift of this extraordinary world which is so briefly ours.”

Introducing the February meeting of the Synod, he said:

“How are we coping and what are we learning? Synod gives us an opportunity to check in with each other, recognising that experiences are varied but listening closely to what is going on and how it is still possible for people to be transfigured by love in these most difficult circumstances. If the role of the Bishop is oversight, one of the functions of Diocesan Synod is to help build that oversight.”

And, speaking into the present situation, the Bishop added:

“My sense is that we are finding this third lockdown significantly more difficult than before. We’re tired. It’s gone on a long time and been much tougher in Winter than it was in the long warm days of Spring and Summer. Young people are having a really difficult time. Families are having to cope in greater isolation than is good for people, other than to keep he same from the virus which is our over-riding concern.

“There have been a number of false dawns. I am not convinced this virus is only this year’s problem. Nor was it ever going to be only last year’s problem. It so obviously was never going to be over by Christmas. The virus has become more easily transmissible. The vaccination programme is going well but it isn’t going to solve all the problems of how we are going to live with this virus. Recreational travel is off the agenda but that’s symbolic of a much greater change in the way we live. No wonder tempers are frayed.

“Of course there’s plenty of determination and increasing hope that we will get things going again. The one thing that looks certain is that we won’t be going back to things as they were. The world has changed. The tectonic plates are shifting in all sorts of ways. We can’t yet see what this is going to mean but we do need to be alert to God within it. Forgiveness and resurrection, the Easter story, are at the heart of this.”

You can read more from Synod here and here.

You can read the whole of the Presidential Address here.

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