Pastoral Letter - Dec 16 - Feb 17
Having just marked Remembrance Sunday in November the next few months also offer us opportunities for reflection and remembering.
In December and the weeks approaching Christmas we reflect once again on the mystery of the incarnation as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Saviour. As we remember, we are also reminded of the significance and hope which was symbolised in that amazing event.
January gives us the chance to reflect on the past year with its joys and sorrows, but we also to look forward in anticipation to what 2017 will bring.
In our chapels we renew our covenantal relationship with God again when we participate in Covenant Services and respond to the demands of being a follower of Jesus. As we renew our covenant we also look forward with hope and expectation to where God will lead us as individuals and churches.
February 22nd is World Thinking Day which is celebrated by Guide and Scout organisations around the world when they think about their ‘sisters and brothers’ in other countries. Young people in schools are encouraged to reflect in many different situations, how their actions affect others, how they might learn and move forward.
During the coming months around the circuit we will also have the opportunity to reflect on what we do in our churches, as we engage in the Healthy Churches programme. What are we celebrating? How might God be asking us to move forward in the future? It is good to have various opportunities to remember, reflect and evaluate what has been. We can rejoice in what has gone well but also consider where we might need to try different ways of doing things.
Whatever we might be reflecting on in the coming months, it is good to know that God is with us in our thought processes. Sometimes remembering and reflecting can be a painful process and can touch us emotionally. Yet the journey of reflection sooner or later draws us to the present time and to the future. We are reminded and can be assured of God’s continued presence at all times and the eternal hope he promises for the future.
The words of Timothy Dudley-Smith’s hymn seem very appropriate.
Lord for the years your hand has kept and guided urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way, sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided. Lord of the years we bring our thanks today. Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us, self on the cross and Christ upon the throne; past put behind us, for the future take us. Lord of our lives to live for Christ alone
Jesus commissioned the disciples with the words of Matthew 28:20
“….and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”