Chapel Street Methodist Church
Penzance

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Minister's Letter, 24 November

From the Revd Alastair Bolt

Dear Friends,

I heard a BBC comment on the latest developments about Covid regarding Christmas and hopeful vaccines saying that “the light at the end of the tunnel had just got brighter”. In a railway tunnel that means the end has got nearer, so let’s pray that it has.

This reminds me of a couple of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ jokes.

‘Due to economic cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off’, or ‘the light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching train on the same track.’

Some weeks ago, I mentioned an unusual tanker at a petrol station which is being rebuilt, and which was sucking fuel out of the tanks rather than pouring it in. Since then, work has progressed with massive new tanks sunk into a hole and this week a vast network of colourful pipes which will link up the tanks and the pumps. When I was passing, the workmen were covering over all the pipes with gravel and concrete in preparation for the new forecourt. I stopped and took some pictures of the pipes. Not only are they interesting, but they are a ‘never to be seen again’ sight. I remember a large office building in central Nottingham being demolished when we were living there. Immediately foundations were begun for a rebuilding, but for just a few weeks a fresh view was revealed through the ‘gap’, a view which was fleeting and never to be seen again.

This is the day that the Lord has made, never to be repeated. Today you can see things, enter conversations and grasp opportunities, which will never present themselves again. Tomorrow, God will have new things for you. Today is not just another day, it is the tomorrow of yesterday and the yesterday of tomorrow. Let us embrace the present moment, live within it, walk with Jesus through it, neither held in the past by nostalgia nor in the future by preoccupation. These lock-down days are not just times to be gloomy at the lost freedom of the past, nor are they days to be got through until a vaccine is found. These days are these days, with value in themselves, every moment a special gift from God.

This was so true when I took the pictures of the petrol pipes. I imagine few people do this, and the workmen were delighted! We had a really friendly chat which would never have happened unless the moment had been grasped.

I hope that in the next couple of weeks we shall be back in our church buildings. Then we shall have to see how things pan out towards Christmas. Boris will decide where we can and cannot travel, who we can meet, and if we can sing. We shall however celebrate, because Immanuel has travelled to be with us, anyway.

Warm regards to you all,

Alastair's signature

Published at 14:19 on 24 November 2020

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