Our Church

Our Church

January in the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2018

Dear All,

For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold

            These are the opening words of the last verse of “It came upon the midnight clear”, a carol I was never that fond of as a child, but now love. I’m not sure in this present time about the coming of “the Age of Gold” but certainly the line  “the ever-circling years” has real resonance!!

               2018 already! Where did 2017 go?

              We are starting January of a new year, and with that go New Year resolutions. I can hear the groans from here. Mind you, it really is no bad thing to have a go at starting a-fresh, at trying to make the year to come happier and healthier, both physically and spiritually, than the year before. We are creatures of (often bad) habit, and breaking patterns of habit and behaviour ,though hard (Slimming World here I come – again), is doable:  there is always the possibility of real change, real growth, real hope.  
              God is a God of renewal, of forgiveness, of new starts: if we allow ourselves to rest in his love, to accept his challenge to grow, to change, then amazing things can happen to us , both as individuals and as a community. And it’s never too late. That’s one of the truly wonderful things about God: through his transforming, energizing Love, renewal and new horizons of the Spirit are there to be explored and lived.
             We will in this New Year be starting  to experience Celtic styles of worship which are both atmospheric and challenging: let me leave you, at the beginning of this year, with a prayer from a Morning Liturgy from the Iona Community which expresses some of this restless new hope:

In you,
gracious God,

the widowed find a carer,
the orphaned find a parent,
the fearful find a friend.  

In you,
the wounded find a healer,
the penitent find a pardoner,
the burdened find a counsellor.

In you,
the miserly find a beggar,
the despondent find a laughter-maker, t
he legalists find a rule-breaker.

In you,
Jesus Christ,

we meet our Maker
and our match.

And if some need to say, “Help me”
And if some need to say, “Save me”
And if some need to say, “Hold me”
And if some need to say, “Forgive me”
Then let these be said now, in confidence, by us.

O Christ, in whose heart is both welcome and warning,
say to us,
do to us,
reveal within us
the things that will make us whole.  

And we will wait;
and we will praise you. Amen.  
Love, Fr. John