We have now entered a period of the year referred to as Ordinary Time. I was commenting to someone recently that this particular Ordinary Time is far from ordinary, I was rightly chastised. Ordinary Time is the period in the churches year when we are without any of the great festivals, until Christ the King on the last Sunday of the liturgical year we are bereft of either a counting down to a festival or celebrating for 40 days after one. Instead we remember that God is with us through all things, not just the grand celebrations. God is with us in the mundane and banal, God is with us in the waking up to yet another day of lockdown, and God will be with us as we maybe begin to venture out more as lockdown eases, as the psalmist wrote:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
One day once more we will get on an airplane and head off to some distance shore that our ancestors would never have dreamed of visiting. God will be there as much as God has been with us during these days. One day our grandchildren or great-grandchildren may think nothing of taking a trip into space, God will be there also. One day we will once more gather together within All Saints and sing God’s praise, and God will be there, just as God has been with us in these days when we have been apart. For now we continue to gather apart, some of us can see each other through the wonders of the internet, others can’t, yet the gathering is still there, is still real in the presence of God who is with us all wherever we may be.
This is the prayer which we use on a Sunday morning when we light our Gathering Candle. God of the present, the past and the future, your Light shines upon all people everywhere, as this candle shines in this place may your Light shine in our hearts and lives and your Spirit unite all your people in this act of worship. Amen.