January Letter from The Ministry Team - Revd Philip Robinson

The second service we held in St Paul’s Over Tabley after it was       re-opened following the reordering was Communion and Carols on 20 December. Sadly, of course the congregation couldn’t sing – just hum under their masks if they wished. At the conclusion of the service, we all went outside and, socially distanced, sang O Come All Ye Faithful. We found a way to sing which didn’t contravene the Covid-19 safety rules.

 

The year 2020 was hard for everyone, a long and difficult journey; but If there was a theme running through 2020 it was that determination, love and care enabled people to find a way through the changes, the suffering, the struggles.   At the moment the year ahead may look     rather depressing and dark but there is light at the end of the tunnel of the present situation and the restrictions we have been living under.

 

When we had sung that carol outside St Paul’s just before Christmas, I reminded those present that one of the names of Jesus we remember at that season is ‘Emmanuel’ which means God with us. The essence of the Christmas story is that God came to live with us and               experienced human life in all is joy, all its sadness all its messiness. God in Jesus experienced everything that could be known about       human existence. As we move on from Christmas into the New Year it is encouraging to know that just as the shepherds and Wise Men searched for the baby at Bethlehem, Jesus can still be found by those who look for him. God in Jesus can be our companion and guide through the days, weeks and months of the New Year.

 

Looking ahead to 2021 there are still many uncertainties although, with the Brexit deal having been achieved and, as I write this piece, the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine approved for use here, there is much to be hopeful about. If you keep a journal the first day of January         provides a blank page where the story of your life begins a new     chapter. Although we may still be feeling daunted about the weeks ahead, we can follow the advice of Martin Luther King, Junior - “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

 

As we take those first steps into the New Year, remember that       Emmanuel (God with us) is here to light and guide our path and       encourage us as we journey on.

 

With all good wishes for 2021. Patricia

  

 If  you are lonely or finding life difficult and would like to talk to someone please telephone one of the ministry team whose  contact details are the contacts page of this website.  All conversations are in strict confidence.


   
     
 Prayer for the Month - January


Father in heaven thank you for bringing us to the beginning of another New Year. Help us to remember that the gift of Christ, Emmanuel, is your gift to us not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.  

Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit and help us to keep   following you. Thank you that you are with us in our times of difficulty as well as our joys and celebrations and that you never leave us but  always care.  

Please guide us through 2021 and help us to bring our prayers to you. Amen