Joe Wicks, baking via Facebook and applauding the NHS

Many of us are trying to meet the challenges of homeschooling at present. My children are loving doing PE with Joe Wicks in the mornings, which is so much fun. They even got a mention in the Liverpool Echo!! They then move onto doing Maths, spellings and then reading. After lunch we do things like art and crafts, some RE (my specialism!) and anything that comes to mind! We even have done baking via Facebook!!!
And last night, people came to their front doors to applaud the amazing work of the NHS staff on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus. But it was more than that – people felt a great sense of solidarity as they did this. There was a sense that we were all united as one. Added to that, people chatted to their neighbours from a safe distance for, maybe, the first time in days. And there was a real buzz about it all.
Sometimes, we have gone for a walk in the park together as part of our afternoon curriculum (!). The weather is amazing at the moment and we often seen families walking their dogs, playing games together and sitting on the grass just chatting. It is not unusual for people to smile and stop for a chat while walking.
We are using the phrase “social distancing” quite a lot at the moment. But have you noticed? We are doing anything but social distancing!!! We have never been more social!! We are finding ways to connect with each other that are inspiring to say the least. The situation we find ourselves in is leading us to be more social and to deepen our relationships.
Online fitness classes; the bakery classes via Facebook; numerous WhatsApp groups that share wonderful ideas for homeschooling; families writing letters to their local care homes and to our vulnerable people who have to self-isolate; families spending quality time with each other and having fun together; walking and playing in the park when possible; facetiming relatives we may not see very often; having closer contact with our elderly relatives. I could go on.
Our faith tells us that we are made in the image of God; we believe in a Triune God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Despite them being distinct from each other, they are of the same essence and are in relationship with each other. The Father loves the Son, who in return loves the Father; the Holy Spirit is sent out from them in love. If we are created in the image of God, then this means we were made for relationship. It is hard-wired into our being.
I think we are coming back to the truth of who we are. We are discovering again what makes us human. Is our present situation reminding us that we have have lost our way somewhat – in our relationships with each other as families, communities, as a nation, as a global community? Have we sacrificed the being of deep, authentic loving relationships for the doing of work, deadlines, targets, business, stock markets, all in the name of career and economic progress? It is something to think about.
Loving God, we are made for relationship – with you and those around us. May I take advantage of this time to connect again with those whom I love, to find ways of communicating my love and care to those who need it around me and may we, as a society, regain our sense of perspective and put people first above all things. Amen.

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