Pastor's Blog 

Welcome to our blog.  Each week (give or take) we will publish a blog, which will also feature in the church's "weekly news".
 

 

EMMANUEL

When I wrote the weekly news for last week I quoted this:

I get locked down, but I get up again; you ain’t never going to keep me down…!

Of course when I wrote the article (before Christmas) – I really didn’t know that we would be in a new national lockdown again.  But here we are!

Home schooling, Joe Wicks on line PE – the memories of March are there for us all to see. But there is hope.  There is a vaccine being rolled out – but (as the Bishop of London said) we have “a deeper hope” in our God.

Lamentations 3 says:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

However you feel – disappointed, relieved, frustrated or just numb – we need to realise that God is with us.  We call His name “Emmanuel” – literally “God with us”. 

Having celebrated Christmas we have heard the word.  It’s part of the angel chorus sung around the shepherds.  But in this days we need not only to hear the word, but to live the word – and truly realise that whatever we go through – as individuals, as families, as a church or as a nation – as followers of Christ we truly have God with us.

Of His mercies there is no end.  His love never ceases.  In all that we are doing, may we remember and celebrate the truth that is Emmanuel.

Chris

10/01/21

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

Happy New Year!

We hope and pray that 2021 will be a good year – and that it will see a marked improvement on the challenges of 2020.

As always, the new year brings the opportunity to think on new beginnings.  A time to reflect on where we are (and perhaps who we are) and to consider what we hope for and what we aspire to be as the new year takes hold.

With lockdowns and tiers, losses and challenges – we might think it’s enough just to keep going.  And there are days when we all feel like that.  But somewhere, somehow, we want to see beyond that.  What can we do, who can we be in 2021?

In church we are looking forward – we trust and hope that Easter is a realistic target to be stepping into the new – that we will be able to open more, do more, be together more.  And we will be planning on that basis.

But for all of us, we can keep going.  We can endure.  As a Chelmsford shop window has put it:
I get locked down, but I get up again; you ain’t never going to keep me down…!

We will get up again.  And we will get up and out and on together.  We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God.  We are his, and he is our God.  Together, as his church, we will move forward.

May you – and may we all – know his blessings in 2021.

Chris

03/01/21

 

TWELFTH NIGHT

… is a play by Shakespeare! (Actually it’s a rather fun play with mistaken identities, practical jokes, shipwrecks and romance – they don’t write ‘em like that any more!)

But “Twelfth Night” is the end of the twelve days of Christmas.  The traditional end to the Christmas festivities.  The play was simply written to be performed on Twelfth Night – it isn’t really about Christmas!  Though it is about new beginnings…  (We’ll probably talk more about that next week!)

Traditionally Twelfth Night also marks the eve of “Epiphany” – which is when we celebrate the coming of the wise men to Jesus.  As we have said before, the dates we celebrate these things aren’t necessarily the actual dates they occurred, but it’s good to remember.

Wise men, clever people who studied the stars. They come to acknowledge Jesus.  They brought gifts – which had meanings:

  • Gold:  Signifies kingship – Jesus would be a king
  • Frankincense:  Signifies deity and/or priesthood – Jesus was God, but he was our “High Priest” presenting us back to His Father in heaven
  • Myrrh: Signifies death – Jesus would know death and suffering

It’s significant that these men were not Jews.  Even at his birth, this is a real sign that the “king of the Jews” was more than that, that his kingdom would be more than simply tied to the geography of the Holy Land.

Which is significant to us, today.  The birth impacts us.  Jesus is there for the Jews and for the non-Jews.  He is born to save us all.  This Jesus, born in Bethlehem was no ordinary king – of His kingdom there will be no end.

Chris

27/12/20