Easter VI – Sunday 17th May 2020
0ur streets are not empty, they are filled with love
Ever since I heard these words spoken by The Queen in her message of stoicism and hope for a time of adversity on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, they have been going round and round my head. I had not expected them. I had not thought of seeing things in this way. They opened up a new way of understanding things. Not unlike looking at a painting or a landscape for the first time.
For many, myself included, we are all trying to make some sense of the global pandemic. Its sudden impact upon our life, our work, our social diaries, our gathering together on a Sunday to name but a few.
One of the things which has surprised me most is that I miss seeing peoples’ faces and expressions particularly some family members and friends who do not have the benefit of being able to access modern technology. I have only the tone of their voice to go on when we speak. I cannot at present go and see them wherever they are. I have however been introduced to “zoom” both for professional and social use and am becoming quite adept at using it. Until now, I knew nothing about it.
For me, one of the highlights is Thursday evening at 8.0pm when we clap for the NHS and other key support workers. I look forward to stepping out into my front garden and seeing familiar faces. Of smiles, of laughter, of brief conversations. Of knowing that neighbours are still there and safe despite our streets being empty. In some strange way, however brief, we are reminded that we are not forgotten, not isolated, not alone. We are part of a living community. This has been evidenced by (One) talking to new neighbours over the back garden fence whilst cutting down some long overgrown bushes which prevented light from entering part of their garden and (Two) a work colleague kindly and unexpectedly offering to get me some online shopping on more than one occasion.
Today’s gospel (John 14: 15-21) includes the familiar words “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever”.
May we this week be people of love not only knowing that we are loved by God but by showing it in practical and even unexpected ways to neighbours (old and new) in the streets in which we live and among our families and friends.
“Our streets are not empty; they are filled with love”.