In one sense, I don’t think Micah Liverpool has ever found itself in the situation it finds itself at the moment. The necessity of delivering food parcels each week to sometimes over five hundred folks a week demands tremendous energy and time from so many.
Covid-19 stopped so many things–but even in the guidance during lockdown one, church-related food banks were allowed to continue to operate, of course dependent on good safety precautions. Micah hasn’t missed a week since lockdown one, nor had any outbreak, thanks to our safety protocols (but would someone please touch wood!).
We stand now on the precipice on what “the new normal” will look like. The pandemic has indeed changed so many things long-term. And Micah will be no exception. Plans are afoot regarding how we will respond to need long term once restrictions do lift, in addition to emergency food aid, particularly how we will respond to the increase in joblessness as a result of the pandemic.
So Micah stands at a time of great change, yet continues, as it has done, to address the age old problem of the brokenness of our world. For Christians, this is a constant demand of Christ, and that we witness to him in seeking to do our bit in making the world a better place.
As Jesus promised, poverty is still among us: “you will always have the poor with you” (John 12:8). Covid has not changed that, in fact, it’s only exacerbated inequalities among rich and poor, white and people of colour, male and female, citizen and refugee. As far as scripture is concerned, this is, I believe, a long-term result of the curse of Genesis: the enmity between the man and the woman means for us today that our relationships with each other are not as they should be, or as God intended them to be. They fall short of the vision of shalom God has for everyone.
We are working towards a kingdom that isn’t here yet, and probably will be a while. The work of feeding the hungry is such an important ministry and so inherent to the Gospel, yet even that work operates in a fallen creation. We won’t always be able to do what we’d like to. We will have stumbling blocks. We will have to wait for restrictions to change a few weeks longer than we originally had hoped.
It takes faith to hold on to the promise that there will be brighter days ahead. We can take heart that through the communion of saints, we aren’t alone in holding on. The church has always been reconsidering and responding to the needs and events of her surroundings. In fact, it’s always the duty of the church on earth to “[bring] the grace and truth of Christ to this generation”, as we are tol, in the preface to the service of the installation of a canon. We continually work out what the Gospel means as the world changes. And we do it together with the church across time and space, in an eschatological hope for what God has in store for us in the future. It is a continual offering to God in response to his continual call, for his continual glory.
Thanks for reading this update on my missionary blog! I’m a missionary of The Episcopal Church, serving in Liverpool, UK. Make sure to subscribe at the bottom of the home page to get an email when I next post an update. God bless, and thank you!
Eager to read more? Check out the “Meet the YASCers” page of the website of the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) of the Episcopal Church to find the blogs of my missionary colleagues: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/YASC/meet-yascers.