Peter 1 vs 3 - 4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. “
On local television late last night a young business man was interviewed about the effects of the upcoming closure of premises in the hospitality industry. He along with his wife is the owner of a pub which just opened a few weeks ago and after investing heavily in all the necessary equipment and protective measures, taking on new staff and everything that involved he now has to close for a month. He has six children all under eleven, bills to pay in association with the business premises and orders he had recently placed. The stress he was under was visible and could be discerned in his voice. Another lockdown may be necessary even in this restricted form but as the church perhaps it’s the least we can do to pray for people in such a position and renew our prayer that a cure or vaccine will be developed quickly.
A few days ago while out in the car I listened to a Conservative MP speaking on a news programme appeal to the Prime Minister not to lock down business in his constituency saying, with some justification in light of the above, that people’s livelihoods and mental health was at stake along with the national economy. He went on though to say something quite startling in the context of the times and the heartache of families who had lost loved ones to Covid to the effect that when people are in their 80’s or 90’s death is to be expected; it is a natural process. In that respect of course what he said reflects our own experience and unconsciously he was reflecting the reality of Psalm 90 “The length of our days is seventy years, or eighty if we have the strength” but the callous way in which this man put it seemed harsh and insensitive though that I’m sure was not his intention.
Each life matters, and every life lost represents the pain of a grieving family. As Christians we believe that God holds each life sacred yet death reigns, the outworking of human sin. That would be unbearably hopeless if God had not intervened, had Jesus not stepped into the darkness of this world and all its pain and brought light to our darkness, had God not held out the promise of new life in Jesus Christ. We come into that new life by grace through the exercise of faith in Jesus and in that context the words of Peter with which we started express the hope of everyone who trusts in Jesus. Thank God for this living hope.