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As the coronavirus outbreak continues we continue to feature regular video messages from the Bishops and Archdeacons on our Diocesan YouTube channel. 

All messages have been well received and you can still view all the past messages on the channel here

Our latest weekly message is from The Venerable David Picken, Archdeacon of Lancaster. The full text can be read below the embedded video and you can download it for printing here.

We know of many parishes providing information in printed form and sending via Royal Mail to parishioners who are not able to get online. If your parish is doing that, why not add these weekly messages to your future mailings?

Are we nearly there yet? How often have you heard those words? To be honest, some of us can probably remember asking that question when we were little. Maybe we were in the back of a car for what seems like an interminable journey to something which we were always told was going to be fun. The truth of the matter those journeys probably weren’t always that long, but our patience was short.

Anyway, it feels a bit like that now. Just this morning Margaret Keenan has made history. She is the first woman in the British Isles to receive the Covid vaccine. As she does so, she symbolises a bit of hope for folks who are wondering, ‘are we nearly there yet’, as they face a tough winter with us still in pandemic. Yet seeing Margaret receiving the vaccine gives us all hope that come the spring we might be able to go forward to a new future without the need for so many of the restrictions that 2020 has brought.

Of course, ‘are we nearly there yet’, Is a very mid-December question. For many it will be the child wondering how soon Christmas will come with its promise of presents, even if this year Christmas may look a little different to many previous years.

For Christians in the middle of Advent we are at that point now where we shift our thinking from being so focused on the second coming of Jesus and we think more about the gift of the Incarnation as a child comes to bring peace, light, hope and salvation to our world at Christmas.

In your experience I wonder what the words ‘are we nearly there yet’ might mean? You might like to spend a little bit of time this week thinking about that. It is reasonable for us I think who have waited patiently to be thinking of being able to live lives in a way more like we used to, even if some things do change forever. Yet, it is also about our own journey with Jesus as we stop to wonder ‘are we nearly there yet’ and inviting Jesus to be born again in us at this time.

I am sure most of you are thinking about just how you’re going to make Christmas work this year. As you do so, of course it is right for us to remind ourselves of the things or the people that really matter to us. In doing so, the question  ‘are we nearly there yet’ with regard to the end of the pandemic also speaks to us of a hope and a light that will emerge as we turn to the New Year hearing the message of the promise of the child born to set us free lived out again in our worship.

David, Archdeacon of Lancaster