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What a time we are living in. Everything is changing so quickly. It is extraordinary that we were still meeting together in church less than two weeks ago but now we are a country in lockdown. I believe that is entirely the right situation for us to be in but, nevertheless, it leaves us all feeling bewildered, uncertain and anxious about the days ahead. Perhaps it also leaves us feeling rather helpless. What actually can we do at this time? How can we reach out to others in these difficult days? How can we help those around us at this time? Well, out of crises like this come great things and numerous community support groups and neighbourhood schemes have been set up around the country to help those in need locally – ‘Overton Cares’ is one of those but I know that others have been set up in all our surrounding villages and hamlets too – Laverstoke & Freefolk, North Waltham, Steventon, Ashe and Deane. If you are able to offer practical help with these initiatives in any way, please do.
However, I also know that not all of us will be able to. Many of us are self-isolating for whatever reason, in keeping with the Government’s guidelines for different groups and those who are most vulnerable. Absolutely right too. So what can we do? Well a phone call to a friend, or an email offering encouragement, or a commitment to pray for all the houses in your street, or sharing good ideas with people which, even if you can’t carry them out yourself, others can. There are things we can all do. As a good friend of mine always says, ‘A little something is better than a big nothing!’ That’s not a verse you’ll find in the bible but it’s probably the sort of lesson the young boy learnt when Jesus took his lunch to feed the 5,000 (John 6:9). Five loaves and two fishes – what could Jesus possibly do with something as small and insignificant as that!? That’s never the way God sees it. He will take whatever we are able to give him and do with it far more than we could ever imagine. So keep that in mind, as you prepare yourselves for the weeks ahead. In whatever ways we can, as we thought about a few weeks ago in church, we all just need to ‘turn up’ (not physically of course!), offer ourselves to the Lord and let him use us – to support, to encourage and to pray.
God bless you all, your families and friends, and keep safe.