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Come, all you who are thirsty...

In the last week or two of lock-down, a number of people have been expressing through social media or in phone conversations that they are a bit 'over it', or they've had a flat week (like me last week) or they didn't do so well the last while.

It stands to reason the unusual circumstances of Covid-19 level four and now three are taking a toll upon our emotional energy levels. Even cave-dwelling introverts such as myself get to the point, having secretly enjoyed parts of the isolation, where they need a hug from outside the bubble or something. We're beginning to really miss normality. Doing things in new and innovative ways all the time burns extra energy and concentration. Shopping, communicating, preaching and making appointments, all take on a challenging aspect as they require a different strategy than the well-worn grooves of past practice.

I got stressed the other day when I blundered into a vege shop at the bottom of Porana Rd. and realised the owners had taken no notice of the need to address Covid-19, hygiene and distancing guidelines. It was as if it didn't apply to them, or they didn't care or understand. I got concerned because they were ignoring the new normal. That's what the Police line 105 is for I times change.

God is faithful and reminds us of stuff we need to remember in due time. My morning devotion for May 7th referred to Isaiah 55: 1-3b;

‘Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

 Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labour on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

 Give ear and come to me;

listen, that you may live....'

What we have been experiencing these last 45 days and the time before that when we were concerned about the spread of this disease, is unusual. Some of us, myself included, have never lived through times of an epidemic that affected me, or a war, or been a refugee. I have never felt oppressed by my government, and if I did I have always had the luxury of expressing my opinion freely, without fear of being locked up, and being certain that my vote at the next election would not be tampered with. I have never gone hungry or lacked a place to stay. Many throughout history have not been so fortunate.

Yet, I was glad to be reminded the other day as I was reading Isaiah, that so far as spiritual sustenance goes, in God I have everything I need. The life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is available to me as the water of life, as a place to dwell, as a house to live in. Whatever happens to me or those I love, this is available to us.

As I meandered upon my long run this morning (still hoping marathons will be back on - sometime) I noted that some are driving a bit aggressively, impatient for things to be back to normal. I got tooted by some bogan tradesman in his ute the other day, as I trod the dotted yellow line giving some senior citizens their space. He had to slow down for five whole seconds - such an imposition.

It would be a shame to have missed the pause of lock-down, champing at the bit for everything to be as it was. For Christians, it's just as much of an imposition as anyone else, but at least hopefully we are able to notice what the Spirit is say in this time of rāhui, this time of stepping aside. What is the Spirit saying to the churches?

Honestly, I'm a little bit over the whole thing, but at least I have experienced it as a time of learning new things about technology and online tools. The next challenge will be level two, which seems at the outset more ambiguous - a grey area. May the Lord replenish all of us as we continue to journey together.

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