Last Tuesday, our Premier and Public Health Officer brought some good news to the residents of British Columbia.  As the number of vaccinations continues to rise, the number of people infected with the virus decreasing, and the pandemic coming under control, the government has lifted some of the restrictions (e.g. restaurants reopening in limited capacity, etc.) ! If the number of people vaccinated on a monthly basis can reach government requirements, and the number of infected patients continues to decline, then all restrictions will be lifted completely and normal life will be restored eventually.  Hopefully this will happen in September.  

          We gain hope with such exciting news, but how should we prepare ourselves for this new normal?  It has been more than 15 months since the beginning of the pandemic.  This has been the most restrictive period of time in our life.  Many people cannot stand so many restrictions, and coupled with the fear of catching the virus and limited social life, it has caused many mental health problems.  I hope that with the reopening of the economy and the relief of the pandemic, everything will get better, and everyone gets back on track.   

          This is probably the situation we are about to face and need to adapt to when anticipating all these changes.  Nevertheless, our love for God should not change.  God is an eternal God, and His love for us is everlasting and never changes, so our love for Him should be the same.  Over the past year, I hope that we have grown and matured in our lives.  From the experience of the pandemic, our values also should have become more clear – what should be our priority, and what is secondary.  

            Before the pandemic, we arrived at church on time every Sunday and worshipped God with reverence.  After the pandemic, we should be the same as before, going to church on time every week worshipping God with reverence.  Do not cling to the convenience of online worship at home that we have enjoyed in the past year.  We should look forward to the fellowship time we can once again enjoy with brothers and sisters, face to face.  This is something we can never enjoy online.  However, we do need to grow in our faith in God and trust Him more.  God has guarded and protected us during this pandemic for more than a year, what do we need to be fearful of?  

          As we look to the coming of September when all restrictions will hopefully lift, may our spiritual life also be renewed. 

          剛過去的星期二,省長及衛生官都將一些好消息帶給卑斯省的居民。隨著疫苗接種人數不斷上升,感染病毒的人數有所減低,疫情開始受到控制。政府亦遂步解除一些的禁令,如餐館可以重開等。若按月接種疫苗的人數能達到政府的標準,染病人數繼續下降,那麼完全解除一切禁令,回復疫情之前的正常生活,盼望九月可以實現。   

          有這麼令人興奮的消息和盼望,對於你和我,應該怎樣去預備自己,迎接一些新的常態呢﹖回顧疫情開始至今,已經超過十五個月了。這是我們在日常生活中,受到最多限制的一段日子。不少人經不起這麼多的限制,加上對疫情的恐懼,與及忍受不住社交生活的限聚令等等,因而產生很多心理健康的問題。盼望社會經濟重開,疫情的舒緩,這一切都可以有所改善,大家重回正軌。  

         變與不變,可能就是我們即將要面對與及適應的情況。對於屬於神的兒女來說,環境的改變,常態的改變,都不足以令到我們對神的愛有所改變。神是永恆不變的神,祂對我們的愛也是永恆不變的。我們對神的愛也當如此。過去年多的經歷,盼望能夠令我們的生命有所成長和成熟。而人生的價值觀亦應當有所改變。在自己的生命中,甚麼是重要的,甚麼是次要的,我們應該在過去一年的疫情經歷中,有新的領受與及更新。   

         疫情前我們每週準時回到教會,尊尊敬敬地敬拜神。在疫情之後,我們亦當不變地,與以往一樣,每週準時回到神的殿中,尊尊敬敬地敬拜神,不要只留戀過去一年,在家中很方便的網上崇拜。同時,我們亦當響往可以再與弟兄姊妹,面對面的實體團契相交的生活。這是在網上不能達到的相交果效。然而,我們要變的,就是變得對神更有信心。既然神在這一年多的疫情中,保守著我們,保護著我們,我們還有甚麼需要恐懼的呢﹖

         盼望九月,當一切回復正常時,我們屬靈的生命,同時亦要回復正常。