A LETTER FROM THE READER OF OUR PARISH
Dawn Jenkins. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 01438 -871831
A couple of weeks ago, like many of you, I stayed up to watch the new year in with my family, like I have done many times down the years. Unlike previous years the following day when I took the dogs for their early morning walk, I mused that actually not much had changed since the previous night, other than a digit, a single numerical digit, (for Mathematicians that may make a huge difference, I don’t know) There was no dramatic change that was visual to the human eye, the news on the radio still told of hostilities, poverty, and desperate people seeking a better life. Sadly, I don’t even recall an announcement of the first baby born in the New Year, so if yours was a New Year baby, congratulations.
The weeks of preparations that terminate with Christmas brings with it so many mixed emotions, that sometimes it’s a struggle to hold close to the innocence of a child’s birth and the overwhelming emotions that come with it, which we have celebrated for thousands of years. Just as at Midnight when the clock strikes twelve on New Year eve, we hold on to a hope of better things to come, changes we are going to make in our lives, new relationships, new journeys, resolutions that challenge each one of us in different ways. It’s not just our faith in ourselves that can take a knock as time goes by, its faith in God’s promise as well It gets increasingly difficult to reconcile the harsh realities of life with the idea of a God of love. The fact that society as a whole generally dismisses any talk of God makes it all the harder to keep on believing. Our Parish is probably no different, but what I want to tell you is that at our Carol Service at All Saints, over 250 people came together to sing Carols and hear Bible Readings. At our Crib service on Christmas Eve over 150 adults and children helped with the telling of the story of the Nativity. At St Martin’s there were 75 parents and children celebrating Christingle and there was a congregation of 67 people at the Christmas Eve service. That’s our community for you, despite outward appearances we continue to grasp to the hope that God is at work, it’s important to us and it’s important that our children know this.
Darkness at this time of year can pull us down, but Jesus is the Light that no darkness can overcome, it urges us not to lose heart. Let us start looking for the small signs of light coming into the world, the delicate snowdrops that for twelve months have been hidden are starting to burst into life, the days are starting to get longer, the dawn chorus is getting louder. Let’s remember that as a community working together we can all help that light shine a little brighter in the lives of those we meet.
Love and prayers,