So another year has passed and I don’t know whether it’s an age thing, but this year seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye! For many, the year has had its high points and low points and so I wonder how you’re feeling about the turn of a new year. January can be a funny month – often starting off with good intentions and positivity, but then sometimes becoming a long month with the Christmas trimmings packed away and Spring not yet on the horizon.
But all is not as dark and bare as it may seem on the surface. We’ve just celebrated the birth of the Light of the world. We’ve been reminded of the words from one of the books in the Bible that ‘the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John chapter 1 verse 5). That Light is Jesus.
At St James church, we continue to celebrate and remember that the light of Jesus transforms lives – however dark or tough life can become. It’s certainly not easy through the tough times of today, especially when we switch on the news and see what’s happening around the world and we may question, ‘Where is God is this?’ That’s too big a question for me to answer here, but, in short, He is in the midst of the suffering, in the midst of the darkness.
In Moravia in 1747, Bishop Johannes de Watteville looked for a simple way to explain the happiness that had come to people through Jesus, the light in the darkness, and created a symbol, the Christingle, to do this. Each element of a Christingle has a special meaning and helps to tell the Christian story:
The orange represents the world;
The red ribbon symbolises the love and blood of Christ;
The sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations; and
The lit candle represents Jesus’ light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.
On Sunday January 28th at 9:45am, we are having a Christingle Breakfast at St James church which you are very welcome to. Sadly, we don’t have the facilities to make a bacon and eggs, but we do put on a good spread of continental style breakfast goodies! We’ll make the Christingles together and then have a short time of worship where we light the Christingles and ask for the Light of God to shine in the darkness. There’s no charge for Breakfast, but donations are welcome to cover costs.
Thank you to those who have also collected money for The Children’s Society throughout the year – if anyone else would like to find out more about having their own collection tin please get in touch with the church office. On the 28 th , we will take a collection for The Children’s Society who have dedicated more than 100 years to protecting the hopes of children threatened by abuse, exploitation and neglect. From humble beginnings, The Children’s Society have helped transform the lives of young people all across the country and every amount that is given helps children and young people build a brighter future. Our giving brings light into their darkness.