The current pandemic took the entire world by surprise, not least our own churches. Overnight, we had to change our way of life as we knew it and adopt the 'new normal' which was as possible stay and work from home. It would also involve, social distancing and starting a new social and church life via social media.
But that was not entirely possible for everyone. The elderly had been especially hard hit with the new measures to avoid leaving their houses to stop the spread of the virus.
The appeal made by the local government for volunteers to step up and help the national effort to keep safe those who are most vulnerable struck me in a special way. I knew it was an opportunity for each one of us to be part of the solution. I started to apply with different volunteering organisations, but all of them said they had no vacancies. One day I called my local council via www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus and I asked if I could help and the answer came promptly: Yes! So, for three days each week, over the past nine weeks, I have been tremendously blessed to be able to provide 14 households in my neighbourhood with their food and medication. I can’t wait for the time when I will be able to honour the invitation I received from each of them to join them for a celebration.
This time has proved for many members to be a difficult time. As Pastor Richard Daly mentioned some weeks ago in his BUC News article, the amount of spiritual, eschatological fake news on the internet has been overwhelming.
Yet this period of lockdown has taught me two important things:
1. God is in control and wherever you live right now He can use you to bless others - not with alarmist leaflets and compilations - but with genuine acts of kindness.
2. The only worthwhile preparation for the end time is being a thoughtful disciple of Jesus: the kind of person he described in his picture of the last judgement in Matthew 25 - as one who would treat any person in need like he would treat Jesus himself.