Masks – the New Norm Word on the Week 28th November 2020.
To mask one’s feelings usually meant to hide what one really felt. Now with mask wearing compulsory for the foreseeable future we have an added barrier to expressing our feelings. Add in social distancing, working in pods, absence of sports and the nagging fear that you might have the virus, it’s no wonder mental health becomes an issue.
We have been created as relational beings imaging our triune God in that respect (Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 26). The curtailment of meeting and mixing with others sucks the enjoyment out of life. We are in a period of semi-isolation with only our own thoughts and they are not much of a comfort tending as they do toward the dark side of life.
When the Psalmist was depressed his cry for help was answered immediately – but that did not prevent the depression from recurring (Psalm 42 verses 5, 11 & 43 verse 5). Winston Churchill got used to this recurring feature in his life and referred to it as his black dog!
One remedy is to sing. This song was sung last Sunday at our on-line service at Grace.ie It was also the one we chose for our farewell from Inverness in 1977. It was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither and has stood the test of time.
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus, He came to love, heal and forgive He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my saviour lives.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy He gives But greater still the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days, because He lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
And then one day, I’ll cross the river, I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns.
The first verse gives the grounds for faith in Jesus. The three other verses take you from the cradle to the grave – and beyond! For the one who calls out to Jesus from a state of helplessness and despair there is the invitation first given to the people in the Laodicea church to have a living relationship with Jesus (Revelation Chapter 3 Verse 20).