The Parsonage, Holy Trinity, Funchal. April 2020
My dear friends,
As you no doubt are aware, we have been on shut down here at Holy Trinity since the 14th March and we are not sure how long the situation will continue. Although we are not conducting services in church please be assured of our regular prayers during this most difficult and testing time.
Like you, I imagine, I am following the guidelines to stay in our homes, wash our hands regularly with hot water and soap and also use the sanitising gel. However, what would all that mean if you did not have a home to stay in, did not have clean water with which to wash and could not afford to buy gel.
Well that is the plight of a lot of the world’s population and as is quite often the case in these global disasters, it is the poor who are the worst affected. I was watching on television recently a news cast about India, Delhi in particular and its population. People from the surrounding countryside came to the city to work to earn money to support their families. With the lockdown in India the work opportunities have dried up and so the people are trying to return to the country to be with their families. This entails travelling on overcrowded buses and going against the advice to prevent the spread of the virus. As one man who was interviewed said, if he stayed in the city without work, he would die from starvation, better to try and return to his family and risk the virus.
I give the foregoing example to illustrate that although these are without doubt the most difficult of times and something few of us have experienced before, none of us reading this letter will probably fall into the category of having no home, clean water etc. Therefore, whilst praying for an end to this pandemic please also do not forget in your prayers to thank God for the many gifts and bounties he has bestowed upon you. At times of crisis, it is sometimes very easy for us to overlook the good things we have in our lives and which we often take for granted.
I would also commend to you the living word of God which is the Bible, which can give us guidance and comfort throughout our lives. At this time, a passage of great reassurance and comfort is from Pauls Letter to the Philippians Chapter 4:-
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
With my love and prayers.
Keep us, good Lord under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.