Reflection for Creation Sunday
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made….. The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.” From John 1:1-14.
“Clergymen are at the heart of this country’s history. Why else do the novels of Anthony Trollope and programmes such as the Vicar of Dibley strike such a chord with us? They are pillars of the community, a bit like Captain Tom in his way.” Amanda Platell.
“Who needs Netflix?” Sir Chris Hoy on Handforth Parish Council’s Zoom meeting on UTube.
Today, the Church in Wales marks Creation Sunday and in the valley here, the shrubs and flowers in bud, the birdsong and the pregnant mud-splattered sheep are testament to the renewal of creation after the dearth of winter. In the midst of the pandemic, the new life in creation and the anticipation of the vaccines seems to be bringing hope to those whose spirits have been so low during this crisis as we begin to emerge from it.
John’s Gospel, that also of Christmas Day, reminds us that the Word came to us from God and is at the heart of all creation. The remarkable creation of the various vaccines in so short a time is a tribute in itself to the scientists and technicians who work so closely with living organisms often only visible under a microscope and millions now await the word to go for their vaccine and begin to develop greater immunity to the virus and its consequences.
The word vaccine itself also reminds us of the links with creation around us, originating from the Latin word for cow, vacca, and first used by Edward Jenner in 1798 during his work with cowpox to prevent smallpox. Jenner’s initial realisation and work gave rise to what is happening today as humanity builds on the legacy of the experience and learning of those gone before us. It’s a costly business, as seen this week in the irony that, having raised so many millions of pounds for the NHS during this time, Captain Sir Tom then died of the virus himself. However, the healing power of nature and gardens has long been known and one of the legacies of his fundraising is the creation of healing gardens and quiet places within hospitals, care homes and institutions, to bring balm for the soul as well as the body. As word of Captain Sir Tom’s death spread, amongst the sadness was also great celebration for all that this frail yet remarkable man achieved during his one hundredth year and for what is now being created because of it.
Not all saluted what happened, though, as the controversial comments of a cleric in London indicated before his post was removed. In commenting on what he wrote, Amanda Platell mentioned fictional clergy but the actual scientists, politicians, NHS and key workers who are pillars of the community all have a real effect on our lives as well the committees and administrators who are creating schedules and organising the rollout. As the way ahead becomes clearer due to the creation of the vaccines, each of us will have to battle individually with the new way of life that is being created by the pandemic to do what we can to create hope, truth and wellbeing where we are. That is a hard task – and a great challenge lies before us all, not least those attending the Zoom meetings of Handforth Parish Council!
With my prayers,