August letter from Revd. Simon PitcherAugust 3, 2021
We still live in uncertain times as we emerge from Covid. Hopefully August will be a month in which we take further confident steps back towards normality. I am grateful to those church members and volunteers who have been able to press ahead with the South Cove flower festival and Uggeshall teas, both of which will just have happened but which I am sure went well.
In September we can look forward to harvest festivals and singing in church, and all the things that we have missed. ( I am writing this on 1st July so if things look different in September than are currently being promised you will forgive me.)
In Mark’s Gospel Chapter 6 verses 1-6 we read the story of how Jesus returns home to Nazareth after a time of ministry in and around Capernaum. While by the lake the people thronged to Jesus and he was able to preach the good news of the kingdom of God, heal the sick, bless and include the Gentiles and great things were happening.
Back in Nazareth it all goes flat. The people there feel they know Jesus, they know his family, they are not going to accept the ministry of a lad who grew up just down the street. The people in his own community took offence at Jesus, and he was not able to minister among them. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is a saying that we are familiar with.
As we emerge from lockdown I think we face a challenge together. During lockdown we have been in a sense away from home, away from normality, and maybe we can give thanks for the ways in which Jesus has ministered to us in troubling times. As lockdown ends and we return home to normality we might ask who Jesus is for us now and in the future? We can fall out of the habit of going to church. We might still be anxious about protecting our health, we might feel that it is all too familiar and something we know all about. That would be the Nazareth option. With this choice Jesus was amazed at their unbelief and moved on. Or we might joyfully return to church, look forward to seeing one another again, to sharing fellowship and reaffirming friendships. We might long to pray, sing and worship together. That would be the Capernaum option. In Capernaum Jesus made his home and exercised his ministry.
We look forward to seeing our whole church family back in our churches worshipping together in spirit and in truth, and as we choose the way of life he will do great things among us.