Pastoral letter from Bishop Kevin, following the Scottish Government’s announcement of eleven council areas moving to COVID Protection Level 4.
In this challenging situation, what do we have to offer?
We offer hope.
There is hope, even in, especially in the midst of pandemic and legal restrictions.
There is hope in our faith that love is the source of all life and energy. The truth is that the love Jesus showed on the cross, in his passion and death, that love is self-giving and endures all things.
The stories of Jesus’ resurrection show that love is of God, it is the hidden force in our world and in our lives. It transforms and transfigures our entire experience. Love is stronger than hate, which killed Jesus.
There will be a vaccine because, in love, many scientists and medics are working to find the formula. Many people are prepared to test the experimental vaccine. That is the truth of love which is proof of its power. The truth that we know in faith, that love is the hidden force which transfigures and transforms our lives and builds the Kingdom of God in the communities in which we find ourselves.
There is hope, also when some of our churches decide they must close again for a while because of the new restrictions. As I said at the beginning of the pandemic, we close our doors in love, not in fear.
Let us always remember that we live in the hope of new life. Let us share that hope, in whatever small ways we can. A phone call to someone on their own, shopping for those who are vulnerable, sharing through food banks… There is hope!
And always, we pray in the hope and the certainty that love is of God, love is stronger that hate or any natural phenomenon. That is the love that we share, and in the sharing, we make God’s presence real.
In this time of crisis, please be in touch if there is anything I can help with.
In the sure and certain hope of God’s love and presence,
Glasgow and Galloway
17 November 2020
Provincial Guidelines for Level 4—https://www.scotland.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/Revised-Phase-3-Guidance-Version-6-2.11.20.pdf. (Provincial updates—https://www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates/.)
Government Full List of Rules for Level 4, with the Worship and Life Events sections being of particular note to our church communities—http://bit.ly/Covidlevel4.