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Letters from Tim

Dear Friends,

As we enter the season of advent this Sunday, the theme of hopeful waiting is very real.

The hopeful news about effective vaccines has lifted spirits. The light seems to be penetrating the gloom and darkness of the pandemic. This could help us to look beyond the current tragic and fear inducing circumstances we have been living with for so many months.

The story of how the vaccines have been produced so quickly is one of being ready and prepared (a biblical theme) for a new unknown virus. After Saars and Ebola, valuable lessons were learned and scientists began to work so that they could respond quickly to a future new threat. So now there are really hopeful signs that these vaccines could help us to manage the pandemic with some tools reducing its power and effect.

It will still be some time before the vaccines will be generally available, and we will probably need to have repeat jabs as time goes on. Part of the Biblical sense of hopeful waiting is to be aware of the wider picture. The vaccines are really good news. But they will not be suitable for everyone, those with compromised immune systems might not benefit. And also, if all the rich countries buy all the vaccines, what of the poorer countries with fewer resources?

The Advent season is a reminder that the promises of God are for everyone. Indeed, there is a warning of judgement if we fail to live by this. Jesus constantly went to those who were left out, who found themselves at the back of the queue. This led to his walk to the cross and beyond.

As I write this, we still wait for the details of whether, and how we can gather for worship after this lockdown. The signs are positive, but we know that we will need to adapt our Christmas celebrations to be as safe as we can.

To wait hopefully is not to be certain, but to trust. May our waiting be open to Gods ways which welcome and include all, bringing change, transformation and light.

Peace  

Tim


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