Let us make time for God
Week 5 0 May 2020
Satan: "I will cause anxiety, fear and panic.
I will shutdown business, schools, places of worship and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil."
Jesus: "I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit,
I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table.
I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters.
I will teach my children to rely on me and not on the world.
I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources."
C.S. Lewis 1942
How appropriate for the world we are living in today,
it could have been written in 2020 not 1942.
In my 13 years as a prison chaplain a phrase I frequently heard was,
'What goes around, comes around.'
How true, 'What had been will be again, what is done will be done again.
There is nothing new under the sun.' Ecclesiastes 1:9
The book is attributed to Solomon, thought to have been written towards the end of his life.
Throughout the book he regularly complains about the monotony of life.
How sad, a man who had everything at the beginning of his reign, a man in favour with God,
could turn away from God and become so disenchanted with life.
During this time of lock down it would be easy to become depressed,
disillusioned with life and yet daily we hear stories of hope and encouragement.
On Friday we celebrated VE Day and many took the opportunity to party - at a distance!
Bunting, red, white and blue balloons, union flags decorated the houses.
There were tables, some loaded with food, and chairs out in the front gardens;
in Bugbrooke a bagpiper was heard down in the village and on our estate a young lady
and her father serenaded us with WW2 songs.
Similar celebrations were going on all over the country and the world.
In parts of Germany they celebrated too; the end of Nazi rule.
It is in times of trouble that our caring, generous natures come to the fore.
We are shaken out of our insular ways and think more of others.
Our neighbours, whom we have hardly spoken to for ages, suddenly become important.
Times of suffering seem to bring out the best in most of us.
Although we cannot visit each other, the telephone and social media in the form of
Facebook, Skype, Facetime, Zoom etc.
have allowed us to keep in contact with a listening ear and words of encouragement with those we care for.
Although we may be in a situation where we have to maintain social distancing from each other
we must take care not to distance ourselves from God.
However much we say, 'Come, Lord Jesus,' he still says,
'Knock and it will be open unto you.'
We have to make time to be with him.
In our busy lives how many of us have longed to go on a retreat,
especially a silent retreat. Now is our chance; although I appreciate that those
with children may have to shut yourselves away in the shed!
Time out is important, sometimes known as, 'Me time' I prefer 'God and me time'.
Find 'hideaway' where the family know you must not be disturbed;
it's not necessarily easy but it can be done.
Susannah Wesley, mother of nineteen children including John and Charles
(she lost nine), had a difficult life -
the family were not wealthy and she had many children to raise,
to add to her problems her husband was twice imprisoned for fraud.
Nevertheless Susanna kept her faith and prayed every day.
So where was her place of prayer? There was nowhere she could escape from the business of home life -
so, whenever she wanted time with God, she would simply pull her apron over her head
and create her own unique prayer room.
In this way, her children knew what she was doing and that it was time to leave her alone.
Just as we are making time for our friends and neighbours, let us make time for God.
He is working in our lives even though we may not recognise it.
Let's get back in tune with him and work with him to bring about a better life for all.