‘Change and decay in all around I see’ runs the old hymn (Abide with me). And many reflect how even living for many years in the same village they’ve seen many unwelcome developments around them.
The last few months have involved more change in our society than most of us have known in our lifetime.
And on top of that most of us have also experienced the major life changes any typical year brings such as adding or (sadly) losing family members and friends.
And at the village level too things move on. Even here. In Buckland there seem to be more houses changing hands than we have known – although to outward appearances it seems the sort of place that might never change.
Yet the lifting of lockdown is now leading to many welcome changes even though some are just a return to how things were.
So how are we to face all this creatively? A key Christian idea is that of faith which I interpret as the need to look beyond the immediate to what God is up to. ‘DV’ (Deo volente – God willing) used to be an expression for pious people but now we’re learning that many of our plans need such a qualification. And that may be a hard lesson for many of us, but one that we may need to learn.
The challenge I now see is that as things get easier we need to learn an appropriate thanksgiving.
The hymn goes on ‘O thou who changest not – Abide with me’. It was inspired by the words of the disciples on the Emmaus Road who unexpectedly found themselves speaking to the risen Lord on the first Easter Day. Return to a ‘new normal’ seems to me an understatement. What we’re about to enjoy feels more like resurrection!