It’s been a whole school term since I last sat here and put fingers to keys. And much has happened in our world during this time. We have seen the rise of the COVID-19 virus and the foregrounding of the Black Lives Matter movement. Astonishing and distressing images have been broadcast through our screens from all corners of the earth, with no sense that any of the problems will be resolved in the foreseeable future. We have felt anger, despair, confusion and frustration all while scrabbling at the bottom of our emotional tanks in the hope of finding just the smallest fragment of hope.
And yet as I walked this morning I cast my eyes to the sky and, for what feels like the hundredth time this year, admired the sunrise. A sense of fortitude washed over me while I watched the clouds morph from flamingo pink to mango orange as the winter sun chased away the last of the darkness. And behind me? A full-arc rainbow reminding me that after rain comes a promise, a covenant that says ‘never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth’.
There is no end in sight for the virus that has effectively shut-down our world. And the injustices plaguing so many of our fellow image-bearers who are on the margins are far from being just a memory. And even if these things do reach a conclusion there will be other problems. There always are. In John’s gospel Jesus states clearly that in this world we will have trouble.
But take heart.
Jesus says: I have over come the world. And he says it in the past tense – the work has been done, salvation has been secured, freedom in him has been attained. And now, in him, in the present time, we may have peace.
So take heart—be still and be strong. And hold close to your heart the traces of heaven that God shows us each morning. The promise of the peace we can have in him now, and the promise of the joy we will find when this earth is made new in the future.