Earlier this month, I read an article about a church in Canada which held a social event in mid-March. Despite taking the precautions which were advised at the time, they still found that half of the people present got infected including two who died. They wish they could go back and cancel the gathering; they recognise they can’t but hope that at least others will learn from their painful experience.
It is on my mind this morning because, later on, my church is having a standing committee and staff meeting when we will be considering how we navigate the weeks ahead. Quite a few in the church are included in various forms of online fellowship. There are telephone calls and other chains of communication going on. I’ve still been putting out an average of 4-5 minutes of video material a day. We’re still operating under restriction though and, as of this morning, there hasn’t been a relevant update to the CoE guidance for some time.
We do want to meet together and we do want to gather in those who have been slipping through our imperfect, hastily assembled net but I think we will remind ourselves to go patiently. I am praying that as we, metaphorically, put our heads together, we will find some ways to step forward that won’t see us having to write about our own salutary lesson.
And, with a glimmer of hope, I’m thinking about nets. I read Luke 5 this morning when Jesus instructs Simon and other fishermen to put their nets out into the water. Those were good, well-maintained nets (in verse 2, Jesus meets them while they were engaged in the discipline of washing their nets) but they had caught nothing all night. When they follow, with grudging obedience, the nets almost break with the catch. Our nets are not as good but may we hear the master’s voice and obey gladly when the call comes. We do not lose out by, meanwhile, enduring with patience and love.