Letter from the vicarage- Summer 2020

I have a long list of favourite Psalms, but Psalm 8 is right up there in my top twenty. It was written by King David and bears the hallmarks of his warm and close relationship with God.

O Lord, our Sovereign

  how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants

you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,

    to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

    the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

    mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,

    and crowned them with glory and honour.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;

    you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen,

    and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

David holds two wonders in tension, the wonder of creation and the wonder of God’s concern for Man.

Creation is awe inspiring. Not only Cheetahs and Scots Pines, but the whole interaction of animals, plants, fungi, microbes. Each created thing has a job to do, for example, without bees and the other pollinators, life would cease. They work together in complex systems that preserve life on earth. The physical world too has been designed to support life. The earth has been placed in a universe. These systems were designed and built by God, but they largely run and regulate themselves without the need for too much intervention.

In the light of the complexity of life and the vastness of the universe, the second wonder is that the creator of all this cares for us. But he does, and he has given us a job to do too, to skilfully manage the planet so that life can continue. Our lives present us with opportunities and challenges that offer us the potential to grow. We will be judged at the end of our lives, and those who love God will receive eternal life on a new earth.

COVID-19 is part of the created order. It has its job to do. All species have to have their numbers checked so that they do not dominate and destroy other parts of the ecosystems. Viruses help to ensure that the fittest individuals survive to pass on their genes to the next generation. In this way each species remains strong and able to do its job.

We have to accept COVID-19 as part of the world we inhabit. We can no more legitimately complain about it than we can gravity or rain or spiders. Nonetheless we have a hotline to the creator. Any time, in any place, we can follow King David’s example and talk to God. We can praise God. We can put our requests to him. Yes, God set up the universe in such a way that it can run by itself, but he can intervene at any time he chooses to. This is why we should pray for our leaders, for the healthcare professionals, and pray for protection from the virus for ourselves, our  families and others.






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