21st August 2020

This pandemic has put lots to the test. National preparation for any pandemic was found wanting. For decades governments were told, but did little; anyone with any historical perspective knows these things come round about every hundred years. When this one came, many heads were found in the sand. Clear and joined-up thinking in the face of a crisis put enormous pressure on government; some tests were passed, others were managed miserably. Nightingale hospitals appeared miraculously over night, but care homes were cast adrift to cope as best they could. Messages to the public have not always been clear and unequivocal. The need for rapid response, found many dragging their feet. The test of the powers-that-be to function as an integrated team leaves many people asking searching and important questions. But through it all, there has been the usual political platitudes, obfuscation, bluff and blunder, and that old standard, blame-shifting. All that, at least has remained normal.

Our own normals at Tyndale, gathering for worship, coffee, meetings have been on hold. We’ve been served well through online and Zoom, but our real test is yet to come. Are there better ways of being Church? Are we using our human resources to best advantage? Are our heads in the sand? Is our thinking joined up? Is our message clear and unequivocal? Can we respond rapidly to need? Are we an integrated team?

Most heartening of late has been how local groups and communities have rallied to help the most vulnerable around them. In doing God’s saving work, may he save us from platitudes, obfuscation, bluff and blunder, and above all, blame-shifting.

David Bell