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At the start of Coronavirus I talked often about how we may be going through a winter season of shutdowns  and lockdowns but summer was coming. There would be a day when things would change, when the virus would recede and we would be able to break lockdown.  #SummerIsComing I said. Well, summer came and for a brief period for a few heady weeks in July and August, the restrictions were relaxed if not entirely lifted.  I began to talk about how #SummerIsStillComing.  We may have moved out of the original lockdown but we were not out of the woods yet.  We were living in a “now and not yet season.”

Then came the Autumn and we were once again back into restrictive measures building up to a second and then an even stricter third lockdown.  It was so important to hold onto that hope that #SummerIsStillComing.  Of the three lockdowns, there was something about the suddenness of the third and its timing at a stage in the pandemic when we were already weary as well as during the winter season when Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also affects emotional health.

Now, here we are coming out the other side and there are promises of an end to lockdown, finally, slowly but surely, patiently but irreversibly.  How do you feel about that?  I think a lot of people have had their hope crushed so much now that the mood is “I will believe it when I see it.” And of course there are those from both ends of the political and scientific spectrums bring a dose of scepticism and suspicion. Maybe what we need to hear now is that #SummerReallyIsComing

Our situation reminds me of these words in 2 Peter 3

 scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” [1]

When I began to talk about how #SummerIsComing my point was not so much that we would get to June and July and everything would be alright. However, I did then and still do believe that even a vicious pandemic like this will come to an end. That’s both because history and science point us in that direction and because there seems to be a pattenr built into God’s Word of death and resurrection reflecting the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can expect mini deaths and mini resurrections. The death like experience of a pandemic and/or a recession will be followed by the resurrection like experience of recovery after. 

But my point was that there is a better, a greater day, a longer, brighter summer to come. This holds true whether or not we do ever get out of the grip of COVID-19 and whether or not we do move away from these grievous restrictions.  There is the great summer of eternity to look forward to. Christ will return, suffering well cease and there will be no more death. This is the believer’s hope.

2 Peter 3 tells us that people will mock the reality of that hope. They will argue that life has just gone on for centuries with nothing changing. Peter goes on to say that they are, rather wilfully, missing the point that things don’t just go on like that, history is punctuated by God’s saving acts.  We as believers have the personal testimony of how he has acted to save in our own lives.  We can trust him to keep his word.

Do not lose hope as we patiently endure today. Christ is returning and the day of his returning is nearer at hand now than ever. #SummerReallyIsComing

[1] 2 Peter 3:3-4.

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