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Chaplain's Chat 9th April 2020

COVID 19!

Is there any event in recent history that has impacted upon the world and our lives as much as this crisis has? I read a recent newspaper article that quotes a WWII veteran as saying that the covid crisis is affecting people more than WWII did. That is a moot point …. but I understand what he is alluding to. Almost every country in the world has seen deaths from corona virus. The crisis has shaken us all out of our usual comfort zones. They way that we live, work, learn, engage with others, have all changed beyond recognition. The effect that it has one people is shocking in the range of ways that it affects individuals; some people only have mild symptoms, but it kills others. For some people therefore, this crisis will highlight the fragility of life.

Covid aside, the world is full of hopelessness that humans have created. We have made enough nuclear weapons to obliterate humankind many times over. A far more effective weapon of destruction is global warming, the result, most would suggest, of all the pollutants that we pump into the air that we depend upon for life. The single use plastics that we dispose of, often into the sea, have been at the forefront of news in recent years. Some pollutants will continue to be toxic for hundreds of years. It's a world of hunger and violence and war.

And yet as many Christians celebrate Easter this weekend, once again in vastly changed circumstances, God is reminding us of the fact that in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is hope for humankind and there is certainly hope for individuals. This is the faith that underlies our School – Peter Moyes Anglican Community School. Our faith is in a God who cares; a God who cares about us more than we can understand this side of eternity. This is a God that cared so much that he came into our broken world …. and died for humankind. Easter is an amazing story of hope in the midst of hopelessness. But this hope comes through what, on the surface of it, was a major catastrophe for Jesus – death by crucifixion. However, But as the disciples scattered in despair, Jesus rose from the dead, and the rest is history!

The bible goes to great lengths to point out that …

“… the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

(1 Corinthians 1: 18-31 - NIV)

This reading puts into context the reason why many find it so hard to believe the Easter message. God chose “foolishness” to shame earthly “wisdom” so that no one can boast in themselves. As the reading suggests:

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Sadly, we have not had the opportunity to have Chapel services at school in the run-up to Easter. However, as I said above, we are all learning new ways of doing things. You should be aware that a new site has been created on Canvas - “Pastoral Care.” Within that page, there is a “Chaplain’s Chat” page. We are populating that page with Easter messages and other chaplaincy resources. I encourage you to spend a little to visiting that page so that you can get some Christian input over the Easter weekend.

Please be safe, be healthy, care deeply for one another, and enjoy the Easter holiday!

I wish you all a holy and happy Easter!

God bless.

Rev Dave