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Thought for the day 18th April 2020

So – another lockdown weekend has arrived, and we now know there will be more, even if no-one is saying how many. When I worked as a schoolteacher, the weekend was marked out by its difference from the week. Occasionally there would be play rehearsals at a weekend, and Sunday evenings had a habit of being taken up by essay-marking in preparation for Monday. But mostly the weekend was different. It was family time, jobs-around-the house-and-garden time, a shopping trip to stock up the fridge, or to buy fabric for clothes (yes -in those days they were made at home!). And on Sunday, church. Lockdown has changed things. No longer is it quite as easy for those of us confined to barracks to tell the difference between week and weekend. Time has become undifferentiated.

The whole of our religious tradition, though, is about shaping and ordering time. The opening chapter of Genesis recounts the ordered and phased creation of the world, culminating in the birth of humanity: and God’s rest on the seventh day seems well-earned. The Hebrew writers who put Genesis together from the myths and folklore of their people clearly wanted the ordered nature of time to be reflected in their text. And in the Gospels, it is on the first day of the week that Christ rises from the dead, inaugurating the new creation. We need ordered time, shaped and purposeful time. Let’s hope we can find some this weekend.

Fr John

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