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  • David Ager

Thought For Today: Ephesians 2:13

“You who once were far off have been brought near” Ephesians 2:13

One of the popular activities to return in Germany after lockdown is, I gather, the holding of live ballet classes again. As we might expect, these are not quite as they were before, but they are more than virtual. They do involve real people in the same physical location. My grand-daughter here in Taunton has been subjected to classes by Zoom and has not altogether enjoyed the experience.

In the newly reconstituted German classes, numbers are restricted and there has to be distancing between participants. Quite odd, I would imagine, when dancers have been used to working side by side in close formation. Yet the coach of one of these groups made an interesting comment. He said, “We have always been together, but now that we practise at a distance from one another, we are somehow closer and more together.”

It is very easy to feel lonely as a Christian, and even cut off, in these times when we cannot meet together as we have been used to. Some of us are blessed to live under the same roof as others who walk with us in the faith but many live alone, or are the only disciples of Christ within their households. And of course, there are parts of the world where a person may be the only Christian for miles around – and may have to keep a very careful watch on how they express their faith.

So, how do we maintain that close bond we have with one another when we are at a distance? The answer is that we trust our Lord Jesus to maintain it for us, because he was the author of it in the first place and it is his gift.

St Paul wrote on one occasion to a group of early believers who had come to Christ out of vastly different backgrounds. They would naturally have been very suspicious of each other and have stayed at a distance, but he writes how those “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” And not only that, but that he “made both groups into one”, breaking down the wall that divided them. While writing to people in a particular locality, he was at the same time describing what is a reality in Christ for the whole of the Christian community, whether our brothers and sisters are close by or miles away.

So dancing apart may seem a strange concept, but the togetherness that German class has experienced will have made it all worthwhile. May we also rejoice in the nearness to one another that is ours even in lockdown or partial lockdown because Christ has invited us into his household and given us a togetherness that no isolation can break apart.

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