Living as we do in a quiet cul-de-sac just off the main road, there’s a sense that important things happen ‘at the end of the road’. That’s certainly been the case on Thursday evenings for the past few weeks. As people have come out to applaud the NHS and care workers (what a brilliant idea that was!), they’ve naturally drifted to the end of the road for what has looked like a sort of socially-distanced, standing, street party. Recently, as traffic has been increasing, passing motorists have hooted in support. It’s been a good feeling: togetherness, and appreciation.
It's felt, in a way, like church. People have gathered voluntarily, for a common purpose, and at the heart of that purpose has been thankfulness. And for many of us – there happens to be a good proportion of churchgoers in the street – that thankfulness has been not only for the generous, self-giving service of doctors, nurses and carers, but also for the divine Spirit who inspires all goodness, and whose festival – Pentecost – it is on Sunday.
How else do we explain goodness? A grand-child today asks if God is in charge of the virus; and it’s true we need to have some explanation of evil, too. But perhaps goodness is the greater mystery. Self-interest, nest-feathering, acquiring status and wealth: these seem like natural things for us humans. But self-giving? That’s surely the work of God within us.