Letter for January 2020
A Happy and memorable New Year to all our readers! The busy-ness of Christmas in 21st century is over for another 11 months. I hope you managed to find some quiet to reflect on the fact that something incredible, world changing, happened with the birth of a son to an ordinary couple in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago. What does that mean for each of us today – If it hadn’t happened God would ‘still be a distant stranger – and not the Baby in a manger.’ [John Betjeman: Advent 1955]. God would still seem far beyond our understanding,
We have had to change the date of our Messy Christmas Church from January 5th to December 29th 4.30 pm at Gilston & Eastwick village Hall, we’ll finish about 6.00 pm and we’ll provide supper, probably baked potatoes with beans and cheese. This is family fun and worship for children with an adult. For us in church t’s still the twelve days of Christmas until Epiphany on 6th January, when we put our decorations away. This year at Messy church we’ll do activities about the Magi, the wise men who brought precious gifts to the baby Jesus and find out what happened after King Herod discovered that they were searching for a newborn king. There was terrible grief as he ordered all little boys under two years old in and around Bethlehem to be killed. Joseph and Mary escaped to Egypt with baby Jesus just in time. Jesus started life as a refugee, his parents desperate to keep him away from king Herod
This year we are going to run a short ‘START’ course to help us make a start or restart our getting to know God. Just an hour on 6 Monday evenings beginning 13th January, to talk and discuss 6 questions –
What is life all about?
Does God exist?
Who is Jesus?
Why does life mess up?
How does Jesus’ cross sort it out?
What am I going to do about it?
We’ll gather in the comfort of the Rectory [CM21 0DT] for an 8.00 pm start and serve refreshments after the sessions for those who have time to stay. Everyone is welcome - ring or email if you’d like to know more or just turn up on 13th January for the first session.
You may have noticed a smart oak box fitted to the outside wire gate of St. James -it is a ‘prayer box’’ and has paper and a biro in a drawer. If you would like a prayer prayed for anyone or anything on Wednesday at Morning Prayer, simply write it and leave it in the box or inside church on the Prayer board for me to collect.
We start 2020 with hopes and prayers for peace and fair shares for all, understanding between nations, justice for the marginalised, real efforts to combat global warming and the effect of our use of plastic and now with a majority government, we may accomplish Brexit but every new year brings us challenges and difficulties as we as unexpected joys. We stand at the edge, at the beginning ‘And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way. Minnie Louise Haskins
God Bless you and yours in 2020