New Year's Eve

Merry Christmas & a Joy-Filled New Year

This is a 2 week edition of our News Sheet, so you might be reading this waiting for the cork to pop on the imminent Christmas celebrations, or the festive frenzy has passed and you’re picking yourself up for the arrival of 2019.

 Either way, I hope there is opportunity to breathe deeply and take a moment to reflect and give thanks. 2018 might not have taken shape as you hoped, but the Christmas narrative reminds us that amidst real pain and insecurity, God continues to sprinkle reminders of his presence and promises to us. As we pull together the aspects of our Advent series, I hope you experience the faith, hope, joy, and peace that are found in Christ with us. God Bless.

Christmas Connections

In the next couple of weeks we will host more people from our community than at any other single point in the year – with possibly over a thousand visitors coming through our doors.

 That’s both a great privilege and responsibility.

 I’m guessing you’re not surprised to receive a plea from your vicar to pray about all these ‘hospitality moments’, but I’m going to get specific and ask you to send up a prayer every time you do something ‘Christmassy’ – eat a mince pie, wrap a present, listen to a festive tune, hang a bauble…

 It would be a true Christmas blessing if all the people who were joining us made a connection not just with St John’s, but with the Christ we worship. Amen. 

The Pain of Waiting ...

I wonder how the Advent season has been for you?

If you’re like me, you might be a little disappointed that it hasn’t been all that different to normal, save for a spike in things to do. Whilst some of us might have used the period to reflect more deeply on Jesus’ arrival, my hunch is fewer of us will have dwelt on the other focal point of Advent – the ‘end times’. I am acutely aware that plenty of you have been living in the tension of those two perspectives – often referred to as the ‘now and not-yet’ of God’s rule. God’s kingdom has broken out, but not completely. We have a vision of the world as God yearns it to be, but not the ability to bring it about in full. We see glimmers of God’s glory in the world but have to wait for the time when that glory will suffuse the whole of creation.

That reality for some of you has meant living with the pain, fragility, and yes, disappointment of life, whilst trying to hold on to Christ’s promises.

That’s not easy, and my prayer for you all is that God’s Spirit allows you to see the ‘end’, in a way which brings real hope and peace for your ‘now’. God Bless.