Letter from the clergy - Friday 15 January 2021

First published on: 15th January 2021

Dear all,

Happy new year! It’s probably a bit late to be saying that, but this is my first letter of 2021 and what a busy start of the year it has been. We have finally moved into the vicarage, we have begun another lockdown and we have closed our church for public worship. 

I am always profoundly struck by how they can fit all your worldly possessions into the back of a big lorry (or in our case a big and a small lorry). As we watched the lorry pull away from our old house and we were left in an empty house, there was a sense of loss, of emptiness or even abandonment. These feelings were quickly replaced with a feeling of despair at the thought of unpacking all the boxes! The pain is still ongoing, but we are excited to finally be in the house.

I wonder how you felt when another lockdown was introduced? I am sure, like me, you were not surprised but, even though it was expected, it still leaves us feeling restricted, uncertain and maybe even fearful. I am praying that this will be the last lockdown and that some sort of normality may resume soon enough.

Again, there are strange feelings as we close church for public worship, even though we know it is the wisest choice for the time being. As we are faced with a mix of feelings at the moment, maybe even lamenting to God about the state of things at the minute, we can take real encouragement from this week’s readings.

Psalm 139 is one of my favourites. It is a reminder that God knows us inside and out. He knows how we are feeling, what is on our minds, what is causing us trouble and what challenges we are facing. Verse 9-10 say that “Even if I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

We have a God who guides us and holds us fast; so let us, in the uncertainty that is around us at the moment, lean on Him and not on our own understanding and let Him guide us.

Stay safe, keep the rules and God bless.

Gareth

Arise, shine, for the Light of the World has come!
Darkness covers the earth and its people,
but the radiance of God's Light burns away its shadows,
illuminates the smallest corner, and heralds in the start of a new dawn,
where hearts no longer fear, souls might be set free, and sister shall follow brother, nation shall follow nation,
and kings and princes bow down in awe before the one who comes to reign.
Arise, shine, for the Light of the World has come!
Alleluia!


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