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Viewpoint from Rev Viv Ridpath 11/12/2020 

viv ridpathRev Viv Ridpath
Assistant Curate, Belton and Burgh Castle

 
As I write this I have just heard that we will be moving into Tier 2 restrictions and I rejoice in this – the joy of family bubbles and the glorious rule of six!  Normally adaptable, I was feeling the strain of not being out and about and able to meet in gardens. The weather is cold, the days are short and even the possibility of a walk with one other was limited… and many people have extra worries, about their children, their parents, money, food, a home even
 
This paints a gloomy picture though I am thankful for sunny days, the times I can meet up with a friend and enjoy a walk together.  It may feel a bit like being in exile, but in our own homes, dislocated in time and space, longing to get back to normality, to what is familiar for us.  Life has become a strain, a long haul
 
dove leftBut don’t give up, don’t give in, just a moment longer, keep at it, push through – it will not always be like this.  We carry our hopes and fears with us and at last, our hopes are realised.  We have good news of a vaccine. Just a little more restraint, a little more enduring and then… we can start again!
 
How great is that?  And will we have more time for people, to listen, to accompany, to be kind, for as the Rev John McLaren wrote, “everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”?
 
The church new year began on 29 November, the first day of Advent (from adventus meaning ‘coming’) waiting for the coming of the good news - in the form of a baby – who knew?  This baby Jesus, born into poor circumstances, grew up in harsh times, his mother and earthly father dislocated from friends and family; he knew exile in a foreign land and, as an adult, lived under Roman rule and harsh religious laws.  He experienced injustice, restrictions and limitations to freedom
 
He knows loneliness, pain, and suffering, but also friendship, family, togetherness, parties and feasting.  He understands the relief and joy of having enough to feed family and more to share.  So look out for more stories about him in the carols, your local churches, social media, TV, radio, and YouTube.  We call him the Prince of Peace for above all things he brings peace to our hearts in the good times and in the bad times
 
PS:  I’ve just heard we are allowed to sing carols outside. Woohoo!

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury



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