January Newsletter

Dear Friends

I wonder how you feel about the short, dark days of December and January? For some it is an opportunity to enjoy the longer evenings, engaging in some craft, settling down by an inviting fire, feeling warmth and comfort, maybe with a good book. For others the dark nights are too long, and they would really value some company, it is good to keep an eye out for those who might be struggling.

There is however something quite special about the dark, because there are lights that can been seen much more clearly, candle light glows brighter and stars twinkle brightly for example. In the New Testament (the second collection of books in the Bible) at the beginning of the Good News (Gospel) according to John the Apostle it says “In Him (God – specifically the Word) was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Further on, chapter 8: verse 12 says ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,’ “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

As the carol says, there are twelve days to the season of Christmas which ends with Twelfth Night, but it isn’t the end of what we may term as the season of light, which in the Christian calendar runs from Advent Sunday to the last day of Epiphany and known as Candlemas.

Star of BethlehemThe Epiphany, which begins on 6th January, marks the coming of those rather mysterious Magi from the East who are also called star gazers, the arrival of a new, extra bright star, is a sign to them a new king has been born. They set out on a long journey to find him and pay homage, following the light that is breaking through the darkness, guiding them to the place where Mary and Joseph are staying with the young Jesus; they kneel in awe before this tiny wonder and present their gifts – gifts for a king. The first to find Jesus were the shepherds who represent Israel – the Magi represent the non-Jewish world, we can share in their wonder, the moment of sudden and great realization that Jesus is a light which darkness can never overcome. The choice is ours – we can kneel in awe, bringing the gift of our open hearts and walk in the light, sharing it with others or we can remain in the dark, it is always our own decision, but if we do, we will miss the opportunity to be transformed, to be people of light and hope in a world that so badly needs both.

The blessing of the light of Christ be with you as we journey through to lighter days, watch for the first signs Spring is just around the corner………

A healthy and happy New Year to you all.

With love