Thought for the month
Our thought for this season of Epiphany, and indeed for the whole of this New Year of 2019, comes from a sermon on Matthew 2.1–13 preached in Chelmsford Cathedral on 6 January 2019 by the Rt Rev John Perumbalath, recently appointed Area Bishop of Bradwell, in Chelmsford diocese:
“… the wise men in our story are a persisting lot. They were probably not very clear about what they were heading for. They had a sign but they lost it on the way. It was then possibly a path of uncertainty and darkness. But these wise men never gave up. They did not abandon their journey in the face of obvious obstacles on the way. In the absence of any clear guideline, they made mistakes ending up in a wrong place. But their persistence took them till the end of the road.
“We do not encounter God because we do not persevere in seeking him. We look for him in certain obvious places and when we do not find him there we give up. We are not willing to take long journeys in unfamiliar territories of our lives. In a world of instant things where we are able to receive instant food and instant clothing, we also look for instant solutions to our spiritual problems. We expect instant peace and instant happiness and then grow very uneasy and impatient in our journey. The feast of the Epiphany says, ‘never give up’.”
Throughout December, the daily blog on the website of one of your webmaster’s friends, Rev Geoff Bland, has been picking up some of the thoughts from Sinclair B. Ferguson’s book “Love came down at Christmas”.
In an earlier Thought for the Month, we invited you to join us in preparing for Christmas by reflecting on the coming of God’s love into our world through the birth of Jesus, and to find out more about how that love can change each of our lives.
Now Christmas has come, further good news is that Geoff is continuing his series of blogs during the Twelve Days of Christmas, looking each day at a saying of Jesus in which he says why he came. As before these will be short, a quick and easy read, but hopefully with some good food for thought for post-Christmas digestion. You can read the blog at this link, where you can also sign up for a daily email.
Advent is not a count-down to Christmas but a build-up towards it. It’s a time to reflect each day on the coming of God’s love into our world through the birth of Jesus, and to find out more about how that love can change each of our lives. “This is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11)
“Love came down at Christmas” sums it up very well. That’s the first line of a well-known poem by Christina Rossetti, and it’s also the title of a new book by Sinclair B. Ferguson, with daily readings throughout Advent which explore “love” by looking at the famous Bible chapter 1 Corinthians 13.
Throughout December, the daily blog on the website of one of your webmaster’s friends, Rev Geoff Bland, will do the same thing, picking up some of the thoughts from that book, and you’re invited to join us as together we prepare for Christmas by reflecting on what it means that “Love came down”. You can read the blog at this link, where you can also sign up for a daily email.