Rev'd Karen - January 2023
The Vicar’s Light Reflections
Light Reflections… “Let your light shine…” (Matthew 5.16)
Sometimes certain words, verses or scripture keep coming at you, in all different ways and at different times. When this happens, I think it is important to stop, listen, and take note of what God maybe saying through these instances. This has been happening a lot to me over the downtime period between Christmas and New Year, where hopefully we have all managed to get some rest and relaxation after the busyness and festivities. And it is that word Hope that seems to have been popping up all over the place. Now, of course, we have just celebrated Christmas where our hope lies in the manger, the vulnerable baby, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We have also, during Advent with the Diocesan devotional, been Watching in Hope, not only as we await the Christ Child but also looking with hope to when Jesus returns in glory. So perhaps it’s not too surprising the prevalence at this time of year is the theme of Hope.
But hope has been coming to me in other ways, through my devotional readings, through other people who have talked about hope, and indeed we will have had a Service of Hope at Mellor by the time you read this. I think that we need to take seriously what God is saying to us that we must have hope; for ourselves, our nation, our world, because boy! we need it during these challenging times. But how do we have hope? Well, it is not just a vague wish, or a warm feeling, or something that we can’t quite catch hold of or nail down. Although we may all feel like this at times understandably, and often we may feel that we are without hope, or we have lost our hope. No, hope is real, tangible, alive and infectious. Hope is in the person of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, who came and lived in fleshiness among us. Hope is in the promises of God that we have been forgiven though Jesus being nailed to the cross and in rising again. Hope is in the promise of eternal life and the new heavens and new earth.
At Epiphany, the wise men from the East journeyed because they had placed their hope in following the star that brought them to the manger, to the baby who would also be King of Kings. The hope in the Messiah, the Saviour for all peoples of all nations. Long ago before this happened Isaiah prophesied this hope and promise “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you…Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they gather together, they come to you…” (Isaiah 60:1-4)
This year, let us lift up our eyes in hope from our present circumstances, whatever they maybe, look around and see the light of Christ and may it guide us onwards, as we serve God and others and keep on working to bring His Kingdom coming. I pray for hearts of faith, boldness and courage and everlasting peace, found in the hope of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessing for 2023, Rev’d Karen
Christ Centered...Kingdom Focused