Visiting a friend for a coffee this week I was delighted to see the first snowdrops in their garden – tiny green tipped ‘fair maids of February’ holding their heads up in the promise of Spring and lengthening days. We’ve had an easy winter so far and February may bring snow but hopefully nothing to compare with last year’s blast of the ‘Beast from the East’.
Every Sunday in church we read the Bible – excerpts from both old and new testaments. There is always a gospel reading which follows a 3-year cycle with readings taken from St. Matthew’s gospel in year A, St. Mark’s in year B and this year [C] we are reading through St. Luke’s. St John’s Gospel has excerpts in all three years. So over 3 years we hear all the story of Jesus in the New Testament.
And each year the church follows a reassuring pattern of the same Christian festivals. Most of these remember important happenings in Jesus’ life. Whether church is part of your life or not - Christmas is always 25th December followed by Epiphany on January 6th, when we remember the revelation of the baby Jesus to the Magi or Wise men.
In early February we celebrate ‘Candlemas’ which remembers Jesus, taken by Mary and Joseph as a six-week-old baby, into the Temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God. In a sense he was given back to God. All his life Jesus lived that role, living as God’s own; following obedience to God and showing justice, mercy, forgiveness and compassion to all he met. That way of life brought him into conflict with power and the status quo and led to his execution on a cross, which we remember on Good Friday, before the joyful celebration of Easter Day!
So, after the family service on 3rd February we will put the crib and the baby Jesus back in the box and we will turn again towards travelling the road to Jerusalem with the adult Jesus. Easter is late this year, so the serious business of Lent, preparing for Holy week and Easter, doesn’t begin till 6th March, the day before, Shrove Tuesday after school we’ll have another pancake party with a pancake tossing challenge to win the sought after ‘golden frying pans’, which I hope last years winners will bring back to us – more details next month!
Last year we organised two popular dog walks around Gilston – so back by popular demand- on Sunday 3rd February we will meet at St. Mary’s Church, (CM20 2RJ) at 11.30 am, for a circular route of about an hour and a half, down to Eastwick and returning to St. Mary’s for soup and sandwiches - which will be provided.
Everyone is welcome with or without a dog! Come and meet someone new to chat with - and be prepared for mud! There will be ways to shorten the route if it is too far for you - we’ll need someone back to church early to make tea for our return! Let’s hope it will be a bit warmer than March 2018 -which was fiercely cold with falling snow!
On Monday 25th 10am – 4 pm I have planned a Quiet Day at the Emmaus centre in Thorley, to allow you a chance to leave the rush and bustle of daily life for some space and deep quiet in which to rest, relax and encounter the divine through waiting, walking or doing something creative -ring 01279 726476 or email email@example.com if you are interested in coming.
God bless you and yours Revd Wendy God Bless you and yours.
Benefice Quiet Day Monday 25th Feb in the Emmaus Centre Thorley 10am –4.00 pm a guided day to enjoy some quiet and peace in the presence of God before Lent.. Bring a packed lunch. Hot drinks and snacks provided.
Annual Pancake Party Tuesday 5th March 4.30pm-6.00pm Gilston & Eastwick Village Hall. More information to follow.
Friday 31st May – John & Bev Sharples to entertain you again. More details to follow.
Coffee Shop – The Coffee Shop is open on Tuesdays between 8.45am -10.00am in term time. Come and enjoy some fresh ground coffee and home-made scones.