Credit where credit is due. On Sunday the Government vaccination programme reached a milestone. 15 million people in the UK have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Three weeks after the 'grim milestone' of 100.000 deaths, this milestone is positive news.
Response to the news is inevitably mixed. As politicians begin reviewing lockdown rules, a group of MPs are pressing for the removal of restrictions within a couple of months. At the same time, scientists and medics urge caution. High infection rates and the ongoing pressures on hospitals treating COVID patients give cause for concern. Prime minister Johnson and his cabinet face difficult decisions as they meet this week.
This Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for what lies ahead on Easter Sunday. There are difficulties of all kinds to be met on the journey but great joy to be found at its end. In the days before Jesus made his way to Jerusalem for the last time he sought to reassure his friends that whatever challenges they faced, God would be with them at all times. This Lent, as we face the uncertainties of our time, Jesus words as recorded in John's gospel strengthen us to face the journey ahead.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27