Maranatha Come Lord Jesus
It only seems like yesterday that we were saying goodbye to 2020 – and it was the dawn of 2021. Now we find ourselves in the season of Advent, and Christmas is just around the corner. Decorations are up, Carol services are taking place albeit in a hybrid form – and some carefully planned gatherings are taking place. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas …. or is it?
I know I won’t be alone in thinking that 2021 hasn’t really turned out the way we hoped that it would. Here at Fitfish we recently ran the ‘Faith, Grief and Covid-19’ course by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. We discussed the losses that so many of us have experienced in the last couple of years – loss of loved ones, celebrations that haven’t happened, jobs, and the ability to plan, amongst other things. Just this week the move to plan B has been announced, and things once again feel a little more uncertain.
I love the Christmas twinkly lights – I was in London yesterday for work, and with the prospect of a late train home, deliberately took a detour to Oxford Street to see the lights (admittedly much quieter than it might have been in more normal times!). Like so many others grieving loved ones, I lost my mum very suddenly during lockdown one. Twinkly lights aside, Christmas feels a bit more like a season to navigate, rather than finding myself caught up in how society expects us to celebrate.
Perhaps that’s not a bad thing though – it’s good to pause, step back, and intentionally reflect afresh on the story of that first Christmas. To look on in awe at the obedience of Mary and Joseph, and the birth of Jesus – perhaps as we stand back just a little from the celebrations around us, we can pray the Aramaic phrase ‘Come Lord Jesus.
As reflected on our course, we have encountered so many different losses – and your reaction will be unique to you. Here are just a few tips to consider to help you navigate this season:
- Talk to God about how you are feeling – He can take it … and of course He knows already
- Think about what you need to do, to look after you during this season – and you may want to share that with a close friend
- Grief and celebration can strangely go hand in hand – build in time to reflect, mourn and remember – but also times to celebrate the season in a way that feels appropriate for you and those close to you
- Choose what you say yes to – social gatherings are more limited in Covid times, but even so, you can choose which ones you attend
- Get some fresh air each day if you can – with the government guidance to work from home re-instated, we need to be intentional about building in some of the things which science tells us are good for us
- Think about the things that bring you joy – and make an appointment with yourself!
- Listen to worship music which allows you to lament, or focus on Jesus. Here at Fitfish we have recently discovered this powerful song, Yours by Gas Street Music.
We’d love to hear from you if you have other tips to share. If you would be interested in a future season of the Covid, Grief and Loss course, do leave a comment to let us know.
This week’s blog was written by Sharon Bell, a member of the Fitfish team.