Wednesday, January 26, 2011

St David's Day and Service for Hospice

27th February 2011 
3 pm St  Katherines Loversall

We celebrate St David and also remember the work of St John's Hospice and those who they have helped.

Many Welsh people wear one or both of the national emblems of Wales on their lapel to celebrate St. David: the daffodil(a generic Welsh symbol which is in season during March) or the leek(Saint David's personal symbol) on this day. The association between leeks and daffodils is strengthened by the fact that they have similar names in Welsh, Cenhinen (leek) and Cenhinen Pedr (daffodil, literally "Peter's leek").

We plan to fill St Katherines Loversall with Daffodils for the service. We invite those who have been touched by the work of St John’s Hospice to come along to the service. During the service there will be an opportunity to rember people who have died at the hospice. We hope those attending  will bring a bunch of daffodils and  during the service we will assmbe a display using these daffodils.

We will make a collection at the service for the work of the Hospice.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Seek God First: worry about answers latter!

Epiphany is a word which is little strange to the modern ear. It is not a word in common usage, and unlike Lent and Easter is not immediately recognisable as a season in the Christian year.  Even to those in the Church of England it is perhaps the poor relation of other seasons coming after the almost exhausting celebration of Christmas and the austerity of Lent. Blink and it can be missed. Yet Epiphany is there to make us focus on something really important in our faith….. the appearance of Jesus in the world.

Epiphany starts with the wise men seeking the birth of a King and finding the baby Jesus. The wise men travel a long way, it is a declaration that Jesus is coming for everyone, not just those in Israel. The wise men had read in ancient prophesies of a King who would come and  who would change everything, they had seen in the skies a strange star and then went seeking this King, to pay homage. The wise men were trying to understand their world, just as we try to understand our modern world, and there would be appear to be no shortage of theories and explanations for everything. There is some truth in the idea that humanity is getting too clever to seek God. This is especially true if we seek God by issues. How can there be a God if there is so much suffering? I cannot believe in Adam and Eve and therefore I cannot believe in God? I remember being in this place, a rational scientist who had rationalised God out of existence. My life changed when I had an Epiphanal moment, when I sought God without any questions, without any conditions, without any preconceived misconceptions. For a moment in my life I suspended the rational and explored what I saw as the irrational and found that God existed.

Epiphany also sees us celebrate the Baptism of Christ, when God publicly acknowledges Jesus as his Son. God is too big to understand that is why he sent his son Jesus, so through Jesus we can start to understand God.

Why does it matter you may ask? What is the point of believing in God, searching him out? I am happy as I am, you may say. Well that was me also, I thought I was happy, I thought I was doing OK. But you know there are our plans and then there are God’s plan for us. This is the 3rd part of Epiphany, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana, transformation. God wants to transform our lives, and through us this broken world.

Wondering what I am talking about? Want to know more? Want to ask questions? Have you had an Epiphanal moment? Did you ignore it and just carry on? Do you have other questions? Do want to seek God and park all the other questions? Well we are having an open evening on the 11th January at St John the Baptist at 7 pm. Come along ask your questions, you may even get some answers! Cannot make it that night, then tell me when you can, and we will have another evening.

Happy Epiphany!