Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Those of us who received our vaccinations (Pfizer/BioNTech) in Stage One at an early opportunity will be due to get the second dose early in February, but Bodden Town Clinic (where Mrs. Sykes and I received the first “jab”) have informed me that they will not be administering the vaccine next week. We are wondering therefore quite what the plan for this is. No doubt the hsa.ky site will be unveiling it soon because I suppose that others will be wondering as well.
We are very fortunate to live in Cayman at this time, because the little uncertainties we face here seem to be magnified enormously in the mainland countries in all sorts of ways. But whether uncertainty be large or small those of Christian mind may remind themselves of the greater certainties by which they are called to organise their minds and feelings. Of course, this requires that we begin to adopt habits that do not come naturally to us. It comes naturally to fret when, for instance, we want to plan some journey during the year, but we are uncertain whenever the pandemic seems to find various ways to get around the amelioration efforts that experts have found to get it under control. In Cayman we are in a beneficent “bubble”, but oh! how much at times we want to get out of the bubble and we don’t know when that will be!
In Christ though we are already "out of the bubble". This is not naturally discerned, but, as St. Paul says, spiritually discerned. In Him and by faith, we already have, as it were, the “earnest” of the freedom we will finally have in Him as the culmination of a true discipleship. It reminds me of the thoughts I was given when ministering in Northward Prison looking at the birds that could fly in and out freely in spite of all the walls and barbed wire surrounding and enclosing its occupants.
Christian disciples too can and should know that our spirits are not confined to the covid “bubble” that surrounds us in the body. For Christians the life of faith involves the extra dimension that can free us from whatever earthly “bubble” may seek to enclose and restrict us. And in that gift of spiritual understanding we can live as free, while adhering bodily to the restrictive rules of the “bubble”.
When we have finally learned the art of doing so, the bubble itself will have been broken.
The Collect for this coming Sunday, the Sunday called Septuagesima (the Third Sunday before Lent), will be
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The prayer recognises the spiritual and moral fragility of our human condition, in which the “licks” we receive (in whatever form they may come) are rightly considered to be no more nor less than “just” - we claim no human rights against the justice of God; and yet …. in spite of that (the bubble of our fallen condition), not only may we implore Him to hear our prayer to graciously and mercifully by His “goodness” deliver us, but that such deliverance will be for the “glory of thy Name”. God’s mercy in delivering us is not the mark of a weak but over-indulgent parent, but the sign of the One who made strong sacrifice for our release, that His Name might be praised and glorified.
For directions about the services this Sunday the 31st Jan, please see the website www.truthwithlanguage.com.
May you increase in the knowledge of the release from any “bubble” of restriction by the extra dimension of faith to which Christ calls us.
In His glorious Name,