A cartoon published by the Canadian artist Graham McKay (on the same day the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic) showed a small city about to be overwhelmed by the increasing waves of the pandemic, a recession, and climate change, to which I would want to add a fourth as we face as a people the issue of racial injustice raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.
It’s not possible to pretend anything other than the fact, that in so many different ways and at so many different levels 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year……. and yet I believe ‘the light still shines’.
For the Church, not being able to meet physically for much of the year, and needing to do it in a very different way when we could, we have been forced to rethink very quickly about what it is we are trying to be as Church, and how we might go about then trying to be it in the very different world we find ourselves in.
Merci, mais c'est une meilleure image: pic.twitter.com/ttO14GR9O3
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) December 17, 2020
Somebody has described it as ‘the gift of disruption’, and although I’m not sure it is a gift any of us would have wanted to receive at the beginning of the year, and I recognise that for those who have tragically lost their lives this year and for their friends and family it has been anything but a gift, in the care and creativity, the sacrifice and self-giving that has emerged during the pandemic it is possible I believe to see ‘a light that still shines’.
I suspect there are very few of us who have not re-evaluated our lives, looked afresh at what really matters to us, recognised the importance of human interaction, how much other people matter to us. Personally I’m longing to be able to go back to normal.
I want to be able meet with friends and family again, to be able to have people round for a meal, go out for a coffee, play a game of squash, go to the theatre, do the those things which bring light and colour to life. At the same time I’m hoping that we don’t lose the creativity and care that we have been rudely forced into over these last months.
I’m hoping that we continue to recognise and act on the belief that the individual and collective acts of kindness and grace we have seen during the pandemic can and do make a difference to the world in which we live.
‘If 2020 were a brand, what would its tagline be?’
For me it’s the header above for these brief thoughts, taken from the bible verse we used in the Christmas Cards we sent as a diocese this year. A verse taken from the start of one of the gospels which states
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’.