Our Church

Our Church

Curate's Corner - January 2016

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight…”

Happy New Year!

January is a funny sort of month I always think. The excitement of Christmas is behind us, the tree will soon be coming down, and the decorations put away for another year. The New Year celebrations have been and gone, and we start to look to the future – a brand new year, full of possibility and potential.

It can be quite a scary thought, looking into the New Year and wondering what it might hold in store.

Of course, none of us really knows what lies ahead, but we may have certain things that we’ve been planning; perhaps a holiday to look forward to; a special family celebration; maybe even a house move or career change.

These events punctuate an otherwise uncertain future. Despite all our planning and organising, we don’t really have any clear idea of what lies in store. It can be a daunting prospect to flick through through our new “Scenes of Sussex 2016” calendar so carefully chosen for us by a well-meaning aunt, and see all those blank squares, each full of possibility and potential.

So as we look ahead to the New Year, what is there to give us a sense of security; Something we can rely on; a sure foundation on which we can build our lives? It probably isn’t our savings accounts; it probably isn’t even our homes. More likely it will be other people, those closest to us whom we love and those who care for us. It is our relationships with those around us that really count isn’t it?

Over the last few weeks we’ve been enjoying singing a variety of well-known Christmas Carols in church. Among them, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, a firm favourite for many I’m sure. The first verse sets the scene, centring the action on an everlasting light that shines in the dark streets of Bethlehem, a light that brings us to a tiny baby, in whom the hopes and fears of all the years are met.

It is an extraordinary truth that in the frailty of this new-born child, all the hopes, expectations, possibilities and potential of the whole of humanity rest. It isn’t your average image of a superhero, come to save the world from annihilation, is it?

But it is the truth - that in the person of Jesus, God in human form, we are given the gift of certainty in our uncertain lives; it is in the person of Jesus that we find that firm foundation on which we can build our lives; it is through him that we can stand sure at the beginning of another year, full of all its unknowns and uncertainties, firm in our faith that whatever comes our way, he will be with us.

So whatever the next 12 months has in store for you, may you know the babe of Bethlehem in your hearts; may you know the boy of Nazareth as your friend; may you know the Man of Galilee at your side; may you know the Christ of Calvary in your courage; and the presence of the Risen Lord in your lives.

May I wish you all a very blessed, healthy and peaceful New Year.

Fr Mitch