Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Vicar's Two Penn'orth for Januray 2014

Christmas has been and gone, and what a wonderful Christmas it was at St Hildeburgh’s. From the beginning of the Christmas tree festival right through to Christmas day celebrations, it was truly magnificent to see the large number of people who passed through our church, bringing with it a wonderful sense of community, love and fellowship.

Once Christmas is over it can be a difficult period, especially when the celebrations are over and the reality of getting on with one’s daily routine begins.   Many people are counting the increased cost of Christmas which for some can add extra financial burdens and this can be problematic. 

It is a great reminder of how the secular world can engulf us and draw us into commercialism and the desire for more. When in reality our personal situations are telling us otherwise. It is at those times we should remember the words from Isaiah “He will see the light of life and be satisfied” not always an easy thing to achieve with pressures of the Twenty-first century upon us.

However let us look to the future, January has very nearly passed and we will be moving swiftly towards Lent and Easter. There will be a slow but steady increase of daylight in the evening which is just beginning to be noticeable. It can be uplifting to us all, especially those of us who have been entrenched in our homes through the dark months of December and January. 

With that, the first signs of spring are evident, daffodil bulbs, and snow drops are just peeping through the soil giving joy to us all. We give thanks  for the increase in daylight. It is enough to lift our hearts, and I am reminded again of the words from Isaiah “Then you will find joy in the Lord and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your Father Jacob”. Likewise new growth is being seen in our church and in our activities. Our outreach with Soup and Sandwiches to the many nursing homes in Hoylake continues to be well supported, with many members of our congregation offering help and support which can only bear well for the future. There is a real sense of love and companionship being shared by all who attend. 
Psalm 55 reminds us of Gods great love for us when it says “But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of the God” and it goes on to say “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” In our fellowship we do try to offer love and support which is warmly received. A Huge thank you must go to all who help. 

Isn’t this what we should be about, growing the kingdom of God in this place? The things we do in Jesus' name will be blest and grow because we do them for the right reason and with a right heart. Every time we reach out in love and look to what the community needs or offer support to a stranger then we do it for Christ himself. We must always remember we are not here to please ourselves but rather to give honour to the one who died for us. The words from Jeremiah are very relevant “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Your friend
Rev’d Paul.