As we go to press, I am very conscious of the significant loss to the Warmingham community of Derek Bowes. We hold Kathy, his wife, and his daughters, Jess and Lauren, in our hearts and prayers.
We are brought face to face with our own mortality on such occasions, and perhaps more importantly we are prompted to ask some of the big questions: Why suffering? Do my loved ones live on in some way? Who am I? How should I live my life? In sadness and despair we may cry out with the psalmist: “O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry” (Ps88).
But let’s be positive! The Christmas story is about God coming to share in our human lives in a touching and intimate way. God makes himself vulnerable. For the love and kindness he demonstrates Jesus gets little thanks; rather he experiences the worst that the world can throw at him. Talk about injustice!
Yet that sharing of the human experience by God does not ultimately end in failure. The story ends with transformation and Resurrection. We are invited to share that Resurrection experience, not because we deserve it but because God loves us.
We are all in this together, and we need community, we need support, we need to feel solidarity with others. The folk of the Warmingham community offer that support to each other. It is a very precious thing. We will not fail each other.