January Team Letter from Revd. Lizzie GregoryJanuary 3, 2014
As a new year dawns upon us, yet again we find ourselves with an opportunity of renewal. An opportunity to make a fresh start, making whatever resolution we choose, and sticking to it for all of about 3 weeks (well, that’s the usual for me!) Seriously though, the New Year is an opportunity of renewal. It brings with it hope, excitement and anticipation. Yet for some people this isn’t always the case. Those who have suffered bereavements over the past year may not relish the thought of a new year. Suddenly they come to a year in which their loved one has not been, and will not experience. Time marches on, no matter how much we may want it to stop. More than that, the world expects us to join in celebrating that fact.
The New Year however can lend itself to something more. It doesn’t have to be a soon-forgotten fresh start. It doesn’t have to be the continuance of time which distances us even more from the loved ones we have lost. With the secular New Year, comes the church’s season of Epiphany. The season in which the light that has dawned at Christmas starts to be recognised by others. It sees the Magi, travelling to offer their gifts to the baby Jesus. With New Year comes our opportunity to join the Magi and find our own way to Jesus. In doing so, we can find all that sustains us, all that we hold dear, and all that we need to be made new in the most wonderful way. As St Paul put is, the old has gone the new has come (2Cor5.17)
This is our opportunity to be made new in Christ. Not just for a day, a week or even a month, but for our entire lives. It is not a newness that simply wipes out the past. It is one that takes all that we are, all that we have been, cherishes it and transforms it. We are led to a way of life which offers us endless hope, forgiveness, love and grace.
We don’t even need to make a New Year’s resolution for this – we need simply open our hearts, and allow God to do the rest. Let’s journey with the Magi, and offer the gift of our lives to the Baby in the manger. In return we will gain more than we could ever imagine.
Wishing you every blessing for the New Year,