This November will be one where we find ourselves labelled as Tier 3 in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic (at time of writing). Across our region we are experiencing a rapid rise in infections and hospitalisation of very sick people; sadly, death rates are rising too. We face an enemy that we cannot see and it is one that does not bear any relation to our more usual enemies. Maybe that is the reason folks are taking pot-shots at one another. The enemy doesn’t even know it’s our enemy – it is faceless, voiceless and not as predictable as we would like. We cannot pin it down, we cannot eradicate it, we can only make educated guesses as to what it will do next … and so on.
We are all sick of it in spirit as well as those who are sick in body. It messes with our lives, our well-being, our mental health. We get angry, we get so-o-o tired and we feel just a bit useless at times as we can do very little to change anything. The little we can do seems such a small offering doesn’t it? Just to keep on washing our hands, wearing a mask and keeping our distance. Those are the things that can make some difference and we even have battles about those.
I do wonder what it was really like during the two world wars of the 20th century. Did people really get on and help each other? That’s what we have always been led to believe. That is the image that we have received from our history books. What has been forgotten, I wonder? I also wonder what the legacy of this pandemic will be. Will it be about blame and finger pointing – probably, at least initially. I wonder what will be remembered longer term – some of the really good things too where people have come together to help in their communities, to celebrate as much as we are able and to care for one another.
This year it will be difficult for most people to attend a Remembrance Sunday service. Most of the usual ones will be or have been reduced if not cancelled entirely. Fortunately, we can have our usual service at Christ Church on 8th November as our memorial is in the church and we tend to mark the occasion simply during our regular Sunday service. I have heard that there will be a call for others to stand outside their front doors to observe the two minutes silence at 11.00am – what a great idea. We still need to remember and it will be rather poignant this year with all the deaths from this rather different war.
On 2nd November (All Souls Day) I will post a recorded service for people to watch either via our Facebook page (Christ Church Birkenhead) or from our website at http://christchurchbirkenhead.net/
There will be an order of service posted the day before and during the service an opportunity to light a candle, hold silence and remember loved ones. So, as we remember amidst our current situation, do take time to do so with thankfulness, asking the Lord to take your pain and sadness and to bring healing and peace to your mind and spirit – that is my prayer for you.
Revd Gerri Tetzlaff