I hope that you have all enjoyed the festive season!
Tomorrow marks the official end of the 12 days of Christmas that we thought about in our Christmas Day service. For some of us, Christmas has already been packed away and the decorations assigned to the loft for another 12 months. The mini Blackpool illuminations near our home, which included a flashing star on the top of a tree, were switched off the day after New Year’s Day and our street now looks the duller for it. At the start of Matthew’s Gospel, a miraculous moving star symbolised God’s guidance, pointing the wise men to the place where Jesus and his parents were living in Bethlehem at the time. It’s that visit that we remember tomorrow when the unusual but significant Christmas presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh were offered to a child who was destined to become a new kind of king, priest and healer.
In our service this coming Sunday, we’ll be looking at another kind of symbol that I hope will be a helpful source of guidance and encouragement for us in the coming year. Instead of using passage from the Bible as our motto text, we’re going to explore how the simple image of an anchor can help us to think about the stabilising role that we play as a church in our local community and how God represents security in our own lives particularly when the seas around us can feel a bit choppy. It’s a theme that I hope we’ll be revisiting in the months ahead, especially as we continue to consider improvements to our church building to support our ideas for mission and the relaunch of our Open Access Project now that funding for the next 3 years has been secured.
Here’s wishing you a happy and peaceful New Year!