Message from Rev. Basil Murray

Covid 19

Let us use as a focus for our reflection today;

Psalm 120.1

I call upon the Lord in my distress,

            And He answers me.

We came to the little Karoo town of Vanwyksdorp to escape the city claustrophobia of ever narrowing restrictions. Five days later Covid 19 lockdown was announced. Though all the restrictions of lockdown apply, the smallholding we are on does give us an olive orchard on which to walk or train. Our Parkrun friends in Fish Hoek are, however, very cramped in their running around the garden in an attempt to keep fit.

The truth is we all are feeling stressed or, as the psalmist says ‘in distress’ by the confines of the present lockdown. We have lost all or part of, our income, we are concerned about our health, our children, our food, our future. In an Afrikaans translation for “in distress” the words “in die dag van benoudheid” are used. That describes our feelings of being squeezed in, claustrophobic, restricted and worried. Yes, we are ‘benoud’, we do call on the Lord in our distress; but are we sure that ‘He answers me?’ We certainly need to do all we can to conserve the resources we have; strict budgeting of our money and food, while applying for any grants that may be available for unemployment. Above all we need now, more than ever, to hang on to God’s faithfulness.

This village we are visiting in, I believe, owes its very establishment and continuing existence to a strong fountain the source of which is a rock cleft in a nearby mountain. This stream of water supplies all the homes in the village together with many orchards and gardens with bountiful water. This source has never failed during any drought in living recorded memory. People settled here and continue living here believing in the faithfulness of that source of water.

Can we believe in the faithfulness of God in this present human drought of pandemic proportions that we are facing? The answer comes from the very next Psalm 121.1,2

‘I lift my eyes to the hills__

               where does my help come from?

And then the resounding

‘My help comes from the Lord,

              The Maker of heaven and earth.’. . . . .

And the maker of mountains, and the fountain in the mountain, and He made you and me and He loves us so much that He sent His Son to restore us to a place of total forgiveness and a restored bond with Him. We can indeed continue to feel secure in His commitment to us.

He is our reliable source. We can settle in safety close to that source.

Ps121.8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going

                  both now and for evermore.