Always with you…

“Some weeks ago my uncle died. He had been ill for a long time with complications to his bowel, and his quality of life was not very good.

By Rev Stewart Gibbs

Because of the situation with the Coronavirus his funeral took place last week.  Only five people could attend. But this meant that lots of friends and family were left out. There is something very meaningful about being present at such an event, that even a video link can not replicate. 

In similar ways there may have been events recently that we have been unable to attend. Some of these were probably just nice social occasions or coming the church (!), but some of them could have been very significant. The lack of our physical presence was probably felt by others as well as ourselves.

Psalm 23 is often read at funerals. It emphatically reminds us that God is always present with us in the good times (“the green pastures”) AND in the bad times (“the valley of the shadow”).

God, in Jesus, went to the cross to prove his love for us. To prove that sin and death are not the end. To prove that no matter what, he will not let us fall. In the Lord of the Rings, (both the books and the movies!), it is when the heroes are in the worst situation in the Valley of the Shadow that help arrives in the guise of eagles that lift them up on their backs and fly them to safety. Fantasy of course, but the author Tolkien was a very committed Christian and he was no doubt thinking of another Psalm (91) where God says he will lift his people up just like on the wings of eagles. 

Do we need to be lifted up today? Are there particular worries that this situation is bringing out? Are there situations we wish we had been present at that leave us with regret?

Do go to the source of all love and grace, our loving Lord Jesus, and know his words

” I shall always be with out even to the End of the Age”

Matthew 28:20

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