Action Zones 

From the Vicarage May 2020


Rev JemmaSander-Heys

Dear Friends round the Parish
Hello!  Well, I write this after almost a month of national 'lockdown' including our first ever Easter in isolation.  Although it's weird and different, I can't help feeling that this is not a new experience for people - just a new experience for so many to share.  Over the years, individuals and small groups have found themselves isolated or out of their normal patterns of behaviour: For families with children going through chemotherapy; prisoners serving a sentence in jail; individuals confined to bed through illness; asylum-seekers held in detention centres, families trapped in war and conflict zones; even simply shy individuals or foreign-language speakers moving home to a new place: many people have at times found themselves either physically or emotionally isolated: and now we can ALL begin to realize what an incredibly significant impact that has, as here we all are going through a similar social-distancing in order to try and help one another
When we think of the warm, easy ways of showing kindness that are not easily available to us right now, I am reminded of Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 25. 34-40... “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me
More than ever, showing kindness can be complicated and costly...take 'I was sick and you took care of me': for those brave souls working in healthcare and vital services... turning up for work and simply doing their job requires more courage and commitment than ever... and we must recognise and share the burden by not putting ourselves or families at risk, so that they don't have to put theirs at risk
But what about the in-between types of need - help for the hungry, a bit of human contact for the shut-ins... here we have to apply our minds to find imaginative and safe ways to share the love: whether it is providing packed lunches through the Pathway Cafe instead of sit-down dinners; or dropping a handwritten card or letter round to a neighbour on our daily walk... we can continue to communicate love to one another, it just takes a lot more thought and planning... and that is not a bad thing
I think there is the potential through this strange time to learn or relearn the most wonderful lesson, that Christ, the Word of God incarnate showed us fully - that is, for human beings to live well - is to put ALL our daily efforts into communicating loving action... Whether that is in speech or quiet; creative energy and action or self-control and patience; we all have the potential, by all that we do, say, and undertake, to share the Gospel of love and hope that we have received from Christ - with friends and family, neighbours and strangers, and with the wider community and society. Now more than ever, we need to inhabit and incarnate that love, and that recognition of the sacred and precious quality of our shared life together
With love and blessings, Revd Jemma
as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


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