Coming out of lockdown is going to take a long time, gradually, step by step, but it will be into a very different world from the one we left in March. But it is also a new dawn, for a different way to be the Christians we are called to be. Now is the time for making our resolutions to live more faithfully the Jesus way of life. I hope it’s not like the resolutions we make at New Year, broken by February, forgotten by March and so journeying through Lent in confession towards the forgiveness of the Cross. No, I pray it is more like meeting the risen Christ, and so overwhelmed by his presence, we commit ourselves to follow him wherever He leads – along new paths, into new friendships, with new opportunities to share Love.
It may seem a lifetime since we were celebrating New Year and looking forward to 2020 – but let me take you back not just months, years or decades but to a different century and even a different Millennium! It is 1999 and we look forward to 2000, that magical number, tantalisingly inviting us into a big “NEW” future facing us with challenges and opportunities. It was a friend of mine, a fellow URC minister, Peter Trow, who wrote a prayer which he called “Millennium Resolution”. It was adopted by Churches and Ecumenical bodies around the world as the Millennium Prayer. It may have been written for 2000, but speaks to us in 2020.
Our time in Lockdown has helped us get into perspective all the things that trouble and worry us, all the things that drive and control us, all the things we thought we needed to live or feel fulfilled. And so it has been with Church. So much has been stripped from us. So much we have had to do without. So much has been shown to be such a waste of time and resources, a distraction to living the Gospel of Love. This prayer pares right down to where the Gospel starts. I passionately believe we are being called back to Jesus, and when we do return to him, this is the way of life we find, so ………..
Let there be respect for the earth,
Peace for its people,
Love in our lives,
Delight in the good,
Forgiveness for past wrongs
And from now on, a new start.
(Millennium Resolution – Rev. Peter Trow – 1999)
Go on, make the resolution to Live this Life, for God’s sake – and ours too!
Rev Kevin Watson, Yorkshire Synod Moderator
And all because I found this banner I made to celebrate the new Millennium, (cover photo) during lockdown and was going to throw it away, but read it first!