In Focus Magazine

Thought for the Month – January 2019

The glitter and glamour of our 21st Century Christmas Celebrations are but a fading memory as decorations come down, Crib scenes are carefully packed away, and people contemplate a ‘dry January’ to counteract their excesses.

But of course, none of this was like the 1st Century Christmas, nothing like following the star as those ancient travellers did so long ago. I wonder how you have travelled with your journey through the 12 days of Christmas (plus 2 if you were following the Church of England’s #Follow the Star booklet!).

How has this Christmas to Epiphany journey changed you? Perhaps you have thought more deeply about the whole big plan that God organised to show his love for us. Maybe you have reflected on the invisible people around us in society – the ones for whom ‘no room’ seems to be shouted louder and louder each year.

Perhaps as the New Year approached you felt inclined to ask God for some help in finding a new direction for something or someone. Or might you have spent time reflecting on how to be more Christ-like in every sense of that?

For me this time has meant looking out for God’s big picture for us as a Church in 2019 and beyond.

What will our Resourcing Church Partnership look like as we develop things together with Emmanuel? How will we continue to work with our schools, how can we help them more?

What will our missionary support look like this year? And the local community, how can we support people, how can they get to know us and us them? What are the important things that we can do to help people – not least of course, how can we introduce them to Jesus?

But I am also concerned about how we can care for one another, encourage and support one another. And then there is our worship, well that’s a whole big question in these technological times that seem to mean to society that big and loud is best – but what about smaller and reflective too – times for prayer and just being in the presence of God are really important – are we making sure that actually God is the focus of our worship when we gather together.

As we wave goodbye to 2018, our amazing celebration year, I want to say an enormous thank you to everyone for the parts that you have all played in those celebrations.

And as we say hello to 2019, I also want to say thank you everyone, thank you in advance, for journeying with me, like the wise men travelled together, following the God who loves us so much he sent his Son to show us the way he wants us to travel.

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12.1b – 2a

Sue Willetts