I have recently read an article online which stated that during the Middle Ages after the end of an episode of the Plague, the people celebrated with drinking parties and orgies when they thought they were clear of infection. Well, we have the beginnings of a so called lifting of lockdown now in Wales and how many of you are going to meet another household in the garden or outdoor place today? Does this make you think how we will celebrate though when lockdown is lifted as completely as possible? I know we have a long long way to go yet and we will go forwards and backwards through this.
I would imagine that many will celebrate with parties, like our Middle Ages ancestors, but perhaps no orgies, and any other celebrations we might keep to ourselves! I know a few people who are celebrating with a coffee either with someone in the garden or in a open space area.
But what have you missed? What are the things you crave for? Is it for you the freedom to choose for yourself what you wish to do and where and with whom? Maybe it is the desire to be back at worship in church, or to share again as we all receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist? Is it the opportunity to meet with the family where you wish to and perhaps to have the family or friends to stay? Could it be the desire to pop to a cafe for a coffee, the pub for a drink or a restaurant for a special meal? I know some folk are desperate for having their hair cut, nails trimmed by the chiropodist, or teeth fixed at the dentist. Some are worried about more serious medical matters and long to be able to have things checked out fully.
We have all missed things and each of us has our list of what we will do first. Also though this lockdown although challenging in so many ways, it has left many of us comfortable in our homes, with sufficient food, water and little extras in life. We had heating and hopefully no-one had rain ingress! We have had many choices to make, what we should do, what we could do, how we can learn and achieve more, and been able to go outside in to gardens, our frontages to clap on Thursdays, and for many though not all, the freedom to walk and explore, as long as we follow the rules. The colours of the different seasons have flooded our homes and in many ways we have been kept safe.
We know that we have been blessed in so many ways, but others have known pain, hunger, abuse, neglect, loneliness, too much to cope with. We have seen the horrific photographs of peoples' sufferings and death, flow into our living rooms daily, the bitter effects of life with and surrounded by this virus. Many people have known loved ones who have suffered in many ways and some of course have lost their battle to live. Many of our people have had real struggles to face in isolation, and without shoulders to cry upon and physical assurances.
So in view of all this and maybe more that you can bring to your minds, what will you do to celebrate? Will it be with family and friends or with God? Will it be looking at the things which matter, love, hope, faith, honesty, justice etc which matter to you now, perhaps more than in the past?
This couple [https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/26/doctor-nurse-marry-hospital-chapel-cancelling-summer-ceremony/] Jann Tipping, and Annalan Navaratnam were married recently despite all the limitations of lockdown, because for them it was the desire to be marriedtaht was important, their love for each other was immediate. They both worked in hospitals, as key workers and wanted to mark that love and commitment, in case they had no more time together. The ideals of a pretty wedding went out of the window and what was left is gritty stuff. Maybe it isn't fair that they can mark their love and commitment, when so many others cannot and have had to cancel/postpone weddings. However, it does speak about real values which matter as a result of living through Coronavirus.
So where do we stand? What will we celebrate first? I don't think orgies, but what will be the most important thing you wish to do? Have you revalued what that will be too, because of the time you have lived through, because of others or because your relationship with God has grown throughout all these weeks?