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Curate's Corner - February 2017

Curate’s Corner – February 2017

When I was a young boy, I remember very clearly the sense of freedom when I rode my bike. Being too young to drive, riding my bike gave me a freedom and independence that I loved – the thrill of being able to go off on my bike to a friend’s house or down to the shop to buy some sweets.

I was reminded of this freedom the other day as we were looking at getting a new bike for our youngest son who has grown out of his old child’s bike. When we move to Heathfield we will be within spitting distance of the Cuckoo Trail, so we’re hoping to enjoy some family bike rides together. One of the things I want to do this year is to get back on my bike and to use it more; to feel the enjoyment of that freedom again, at least going downhill anyway!

Freedom is something that we can very easily take for granted. But our freedom today has been paid for at a great cost that we remember each year on Armistice Day. But as Christians, we are also set free from the sins that separate us from God by the sacrifice made by Jesus for us on the Cross.

February begins with the feast of Candlemas (2nd February) at which the Church celebrates the presentation of the infant Jesus at the temple. Simeon and Anna had been waiting for many long years to see the Messiah, visiting the temple and praying. When Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the Temple, Simeon and Anna were filled with joy and Simeon declared, ‘Lord, now you are dismissing your servant in peace…’; words that have been immortalized in the Nunc Dimittis said or sung at Evening Prayer every day.

The waiting was over, Simeon felt as if he had been released, set free, simply through seeing Jesus. Over the years that were to come, one of the things Jesus did for people was set them free from things that had been making life hard for them – from guilt, from illness, from fear.

Above all, Christians believe that in his death on the Cross he set us free from all the things that stop us loving God and loving one another. That, surely, is the ultimate freedom of all.

Fr Mitch