One of the strangest weekends for me during lockdown was Easter weekend as the COVID-19 peak was building and a colleague lay in hospital battling for his life. I heard Jesus’ words to his disciples to ‘watch and pray’ (Matthew 26:41) and knew I needed simply to sit with the unfolding national and personal tragedy, not rush around and put opinionated statements up on social media, but pray and lament without looking for answers. My colleague died on Easter Sunday: the poignant juxtaposition of death and resurrection, grief and hope.
Christians look forward with resurrection hope, to a day when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21: 4). But we also live in the reality of the now, when we see glimpses of that hope but much that also leads to despair.
Through lockdown, there were positive surprises in the midst of the pain. We saw renewed community life as we organised ourselves to help neighbours and look out for each other. We placed a new value on people who sometimes go unnoticed: delivery drivers, supermarket workers, refuse collectors, NHS workers. We rediscovered how important nature is to our wellbeing and saw nature thrive and pollution levels drop. And we learnt that in a crisis we really can act and change ingrained habits.
Will we hold on to those positives or go back to the ‘old normal’? We know the old normal was leading to environmental catastrophe and harming countless numbers of people, around the world and in the UK. We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reboot our economy in a fair, sustainable way – so that it works for everyone and protects the environment.
Could you reflect on what the positives were for you during lockdown, amidst the undoubted troubles, and decide how you could ensure they continue for you? As people of faith, how might we play our part in working towards a world rebooted?
This post was originally published here by St Paul’s Cathedral.
See also Tearfund’s Reboot Campaign for more information on this topic, resources for churches and individuals, and guidance on calling on the UK government to forge a way forward that prioritises the poorest, tackles the climate emergency and builds a better world for everyone.