This was the week when a government briefing was used to slip out the news that social distancing measures of some sort would have to continue until at least the end of the year. It’s been fascinating to notice how our society – mostly easy-going, liberal, libertarian even - has responded. We just take it on board, are pretty compliant, it seems: very much unlike those in the USA who this week have been protesting against lockdown measures, we accept what our authorities say.
And this makes me think that there is still something deeply Christian about the kind of society we inhabit. We think and care about one another. We stop what we are doing and applaud our NHS and Care workers on a Thursday evening. We recruit a huge number of NHS volunteers, even if we haven’t yet been able to find ways of using all of them. At the root of much of the way we behave is a concern for others – for loving our neighbour.
One of the books I’ve been able to read during enforced staying-at-home has been Tom Holland’s ‘Dominion’, a history of the origins and growth of the Christian faith over the past two millennia. Holland is unsparing in his descriptions of the dreadful ways Christians of different persuasions have sometimes treated one another. Equally, he’s clear that the best of our current social patterns are derived from Christian faith. Good to remember that!