So it’s official – as of last Tuesday our Christmas decorations, including the tiny fibre-optic Christmas tree we have grown to love here in the Rectory, must come down. Tuesday (or the feast of Candlemas as it is remembered), marks 40 days after Christmas (give or take some dodgy accounting), and personally speaking, it’s been a welcome extension whereby light (sparkly mainly) has continued to shine in the darkness of these present hard times. However, as the nights slowly become shorter, and indeed the weather occasionally has perked up, perhaps it’s time move on and look ahead.
Candlemas celebrates the presentation of the Christ child in the Temple where Jesus is acknowledged by both Simeon and Anna. It’s a kind of thanksgiving for that which has already taken place, together with the dedication that looks ahead in prayer and hope to what is to come. Indeed, for me, last Tuesday held elements of both beginnings and ends. At teatime, I participated in evening prayer at Westcott House, where after a long period of uncertainty, we were glad to witness the licensing of Helen Dawes, our new Principal. Earlier on that day, wife Helen and myself had attended the requiem mass for her godmother, held at Newport Cathedral. Both occasions were optimistic, affirming God’s presence with both individuals, and steeped in prayer. In the church in Newport, I also had the opportunity to appreciate the amazing old font, symbolically positioned at the entrance of the church. A font, which for hundreds of years has served the immediate community and beyond, and where just over 50 years ago it was also the means by which my good lady wife was baptised too, again surrounded by the prayers of those present, who it must be said (although I am a touch biased) didn’t do a bad job in their intercessions too!
In all situations: beginnings, endings, as well as the long slog in the middle, may we continue to be encouraged, to take all things in faith, to our Lord in prayer.
Keep in touchKeep the faith.