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Thought for the Week – 15th August 2021

I’ve Changed my Mind

A few weeks ago, I pontificated about wearing face masks. I said I would continue to wear them in public places, to protect those around me. As luck would have it, this appeared last week in the Bridgnorth Journal, as “Prayer for the week”. Anyone who read that and then saw me on Sunday evening, sitting in Billingsley Church without a mask, could, correctly, accuse me of not practicing what I was preaching. In fairness to myself, the big point of the article was about how small acts of restraint can make a difference, something I stand by. However, it is fair to say that in places where I’m pretty sure everyone has been double-jabbed, I now see less point in wearing a mask. I’ve changed my mind.

You may conclude from this that I’m a ditherer who really shouldn’t be writing in public. On some issues, that is true. But I’m not ashamed at admitting that there are many issues where I find it difficult to know what to think, never mind what to do. We have some general moral guidelines, such as the Ten Commandments, but we are left to work out the detail for ourselves and that means that many things are not clear. There are incidents in the Bible where Old Testament leaders are pictures as arguing with God and getting a change of plan. Jesus himself was open to interruptions in his ministry, often from women and was prepared to change course as a result of this. The life of faith has to be played out in a world where issues are complex and full of hard cases which challenge simple judgements. Sometimes I have had to admit that my initial reaction to a situation was wrong; to me, the only honest action is to admit to that. St Paul wrote of how in this world, we God as but a poor reflection in a mirror; I worry about some who always seem to see the way of God perfectly.

Rev David Poyner