Life, as we know, is often unpredictable. This time last year no one could have predicted how this year would pan out. Until this year I doubt that I have ever used the word epidemiologist, nor had I heard of Prof. Brett Sutton. Now he feels like a member of the family. Whilst we had no way of predicting the specifics of what would happen this year, we do know that life often has unexpected twists and turns. Things can appear to be going smoothly and suddenly, without warning something happens to change all that. Uncertainty, anxiety, even fear can be the result.
I recently read a reflection on the well-known (and loved) Psalm 23. In the psalm, David, the author writes of God preparing a banquet for his people. He says, ‘You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies’. Hospitality in biblical times (as indeed in our day) was an essential aspect of life and community. The preparation of a banquet and the invitation to attend was a statement of acceptance, protection and relationship. So on one hand, David is surrounded by enemies, and on the other God is inviting him to share a banquet. In a sense this is a reality of life – the good mixing with the bad. Pressures, anxieties, fears and relationships issues are a part of all of our lives, yet so too is the love, grace and mercy of God. This gives us strength to face the significant challenges of life and hope when despair threatens to overwhelm us. The pressures will never be too far away, but neither will the inviting smell of a banquet prepared just for us. Being seated at the table enables us to cope with the pressures and even rise above them.
Grace and peace to you all. May we all have many enjoyable moments in Term 4.
Senior School Chaplain