Greetings have been difficult during the pandemic.
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Greetings have been difficult during the pandemic. St George’s Crypt is usually a very tactile place. I get hugged more than I ever did in parish ministry (and, for what it’s worth, get asked to pray for people more as well). Trying to stay socially distanced proved difficult from the start; on my way up Great George Street I got warmly embraced by half-a-dozen more or less drunken friends. St Peter had clearly not visited the Crypt when he said the apostles weren’t drunk because it was too early in the day. (We trust he has dropped in a few times since).
We miss just shaking hands. The touch of another human being is important when much of society regards you as untouchable. Other greetings, such as the ubiquitous Zoom wave, are a poor substitute.
Reflection on all this led us to remember Mr. Spock’s Vulcan salute. Leonard Nimoy had been asked to come up with something suitable, and immediately produced something he remembered from his Jewish childhood. A particular blessing is given by the priestly caste; it is regarded as so holy, so filled with the power of the Almighty, that the faithful turn away, or cover their eyes. Both hands form what we now think of as a Vulcan salute, and link together. The Hebrew letter Shin is thus formed. It stands for Shaddai, Shekinah, and Shalom. Nimoy was surprised how it caught on, and commented that all those who used it were unknowingly blessing each other. Similarly, we forget that “goodbye” is a contraction of “God be with you”.
Blessings are all around us; unobserved, unremarked. Every atom, every particle, speaks to us of the bountiful goodness of God. If we but let it.
Written by Roger Quick
News category: General
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