This has been a week of sharp contrasts. Here in Liverpool we have been hosting large test events which will help to lead us back to a more normal way of living. Those attending have not been required to be distanced or to wear masks – it has been a brief return to ‘before Covid’ socialising, particularly for some younger adults whose social lives have been very hard hit.
But it isn’t just about them, the events have provided windows of hope and opportunity for technicians and performers to use their skills and to feel the satisfaction of a job well done. There have been very few of those occasions in the last 12 months.
Running alongside has been the very welcome news that we might be able to hug close family and close friends before the month is out as part of the route to almost normal life, hopefully later in June.
In contrast, the devastation from Covid in India has been, rightly, headline news. While the number of cases and deaths in India has been shocking and the scenes from the hospitals absolutely heartbreaking, it has also shown how limited our view of the world is. Although we live amongst people from across the globe, most of our population is unaware of the size and scale of India, poised as it is to be come the most populous nation on Earth. They too are unaware that it is a major manufacturer and exporter of vaccines, particularly the Covid vaccine, and has therefore been playing a crucial part in our ability to meet the current road map out of restrictions. We are fortunate to have a strong Indian Community in the UK and to be able to hear through the media from individuals and organisations both locally and in India about what is needed and what is being provided.
However, sadly, in both contexts I have also heard comments which have suggested a lack of understanding and respect for the culture and experience of others. People have been questioning why test events should focus on young people who have not yet been vaccinated, though of course the risk cannot be properly assessed without the test events. Sadly some of the comments in relation to the situation in India hint at underlying paternalism and fail to appreciate the cultural differences between the UK and India.
Most of us will know people who have family who are in the eye of the storm in India at present, many of them have been working in our hospitals or other essential services ensuring that, should we have fallen ill at any time during the pandemic, we would not have been wondering whether there would be oxygen or a hospital bed available for us.
While we continue to move along the path out of the pandemic, it is beholden on us to remember that others are not so blessed and there are individuals within our community who remain anxious for their families. As globally connected Christians we join with those across the world, praying for the world and thanking God for his goodness to us.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
Today is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. The Sundays of Easter invite us to encounter and to engage with the risen Christ, and to open our eyes to who Jesus is. John’s Gospel offers a series of helpful clues in the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus. Today’s Gospel reading opens with Jesus claiming, ‘I am the true vine’. In the Old Testament the people of Israel are described as God’s vine. God planted the vine and expects fruit from the vine. John’s Gospel develops the image of Jesus as the true vine nurturing the branches. Those who are part of that true vine bear much fruit. Those who are not part of that true vine cannot bear fruit. The vine symbolises the source of life in Christ.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited you to reflect on the image of the vine. In today’s picture, from one of their books in the Christian Special Places series, Aled and Sian are discovering how the branches of their apple tree are all connected with the roots underground.
you are the true vine
and we are your branches.
Prune us and cleanse us,
that we may bear fruit in you;
now and always.
Next Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, prepares us for the Feast of the Ascension. In the Gospel reading Jesus is preparing his disciples for their ongoing life in the world after he has been taken from them. The image to help us prepare for next Sunday’s theme is teams. You can find out more about that theme here https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to Nelson.Pike@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk.
To learn about more adventures with Aled and Sian in the Christian Special Places series, please follow this link to the relevant page of the St. Mary’s Centre website: http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/christianspecialplaces.html.
You are warmly invited to join us in worship online. We are livestreaming our 10:30am service on both our Facebook and YouTube pages. To stream the service on Facebook, follow this link to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LiverpoolCathedral. To stream the service on YouTube, follow this link to our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/LiverpoolCathedral/videos.
Aled and Sian send their Sunday greetings to all.
supporting you during these uncertain times
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter. Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God