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DECEMBER 2017

Our Vicar writes

Not again surely, and so soon! Yes as we turn into December you may well be asking ‘Where has the year gone?’ therefore as we approach Christmas saying, ‘Not again surely, and so soon!’

We’ve also begun a New Year having celebrated Christ as King of the whole world at the end of November. Sunday the third of December marks the first Sunday of Advent and the New Church Year. This year we will focus on the Gospel of Mark, known as Year B in the three year cycle of Bible readings. Each year we explore Jesus, his teachings and our relationship with God through the eyes of one of our Gospel writers.

I love the way we do this helped by one of Jesus’ closest friends John as verses from his Gospel are used through each of the years as well.

Each year ultimately we develop, we grow as Christians, I pray, and also in wisdom, in our understanding that Christ is King of all things, of the whole world. Along the way it is my hope that we ‘pop’, to use a music industry term.

In the music industry it refers to the point when an artist gains the confidence to be the musical artist that is truly who they are as an artist. It is the point that they explode with confidence, when they find their identity as an authentic musician, when their inner conviction of the message they want to put across as an artist is communicated almost effortlessly to their audience. It is a point of transformation.

I love this idea when compared to growth as a Christian. Our exploration of the messages put to us by Jesus and passed on by those closest to him, as well as those closest to those who were closest to Jesus; this exploration of the Gospels in the light of other readings from the Bible helps us to grow. As we continue this exploration we move ourselves towards a significant transformation moment as Christians.

The ‘pop’ moment I would describe as the point when the decision of the head becomes the compulsion of the heart. At this point it is my prayer there is an explosion of new confidence, as one finds one’s identity in Christ as an authentic Christian with an inner conviction of the message to put across, to communicate almost effortlessly to those near and far; a point of transformation. (Acts 2)

Now musicians come and go. Maintaining a career in music certainly requires continuing in focus, application and through being informed.

As Christians whether just beginning to explore Jesus’, whether compulsion of the heart has always been there, whether ‘popped’ or whether we are just on the verge of this transformation, continuing exploration of Jesus through his messages is really important to our identity, confidence, conviction and compulsion in Christ.

So as we begin a New Church Year and prepare for the beginning of the Christ story then towards the end of the month celebrate the Christ Mass, the celebration of the birth of the Christ child I pray the Bible is at the forefront of each day.

Yes another year since the beginning of December last year may seem to have whizzed by and yes we excitedly begin the exploration of Christ afresh. So I look forward with anticipation of amazing possibilities, of the explorations impact on who we are and moving the people of God into a new era of transformation. For what could be more exciting than The WORD being made flesh. (John 1 vv. 1-18)

Yours In Christ,               Alan