Christmas during Covid
Today, the 19th December 2020, saw the anouncement of further restrictions in Scotland due to a new, more virulent, strain of Coronavirus. Many people will bedevastated at the change in he Christmas rules which now mean that restruictions will be eased only on Christmas Day and not for the 5 days previously indicated. Travel is retricted and from Boxing Day worship in Mainland Scotland will only be attended by a maximum of 20 people and they must live in the same Council area as the church they attend.
These changes will effect every person and family in Scotland and it must seem that we are on a never ending cycle of despair But there is also good news on the horizon with vaccination programmes being rolled out and the hope that sometime in 2021 we can return to "normal".
But what will that "normal" look like? Since the original Lockdown in March church has changed in many ways. Online Church has become the norm and Zoom, which before this year was an ice-lolly or a 1980s pop hit, has become the new way of meeting. It's unlikely that this will all dissapear post Covid, and nor should it, as the church has been presented with new ways of reaching out and bringing the Gospel to the people of Scotland.
In St. Martin's we now have over 300 members of our Facebook page and over 100 subscribers to our YouTube Channel (which didn't exist in March) and during lockdown had over 9,500 engagements with our Social Media sites in one month alone. We now livestream our services and digital church goes hand in hand with traditional church and will continue to do so in the future.
Mary & Joseph had an unusual first Christmas as well. Told that they were to be parents of the son of God, taken away from what was familiar to go to a town which had a family history but no current familiarity and forced to have the baby in a stable because there was no room in the inn, life must have seemed strange and frightening and yet they got through it because they trusted in God and knew he was with them. This is true for us also, whatever the future may hold.
God bless, stay safe
and have a blessed Christmas and New Year.