Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Happy New Year! I say this as I write before Christmas, the General Election and who knows what else. Editors need to have time with their families over Christmas too. So all of the preparation for the January edition of our magazine take place well in advance. With a mind to the future, and with our last twelve months as it's backdrop, the line between speculation and hope has the potential to get a little thin. Of course, getting thin is another topic that pops up at this time of year.
The Church began it's New Year at the beginning of Advent. Like those who have received the good news that there will be an additional member of the family, the season of preparing for their appearance gives way to the reality of their arrival. This is often filled with a combination of hope for the future and a lot of effort. If only to ensure that all concerned have best chance to succeed. A Senior Sister visited me after giving birth to her first child, having recently returned to work.
She was astonished at just how much of her self confidence had diminished as a result of her little human's arrival. With all of the gifts that babies bring, especially those that need a lot of clearing up afterwards, coupled with a very different body clock, if not time zone; hanging on to anything of their former self confidence had become a major challenge. We spent time developing a system of noticing every achievement, however small, and then had a think about what they might do that would give them a sense of achievement with no reference to their past.
Her epiphany was as different as it was 'off the wall'. At our next meeting I was met by a very excited individual, and what fell out of her mouth was a surprise to say the least. “Belly Dancing!” she said with as straight a face as she could muster. The look on my face must have been a picture, the subsequent grin on her face soon broke into hysterical laughter. It was a real tonic, both at the time of her announcement (we'd had a tough shift) and subsequently. Convinced that if she could carry this off she could cope with anything, it certainly worked for her.
It's amazing how the 'left of field' can make a dramatic difference. Jesus, God made flesh and the Creator of the Universe, was born without fanfare, astonished the wise and the doubters and went on to conquer death without an army. Many difficult situations have been overcome by simple if not radical ideas. Spending time with those who love us, just like our editors try to do at Christmas, is an opportunity both to enjoy love and learn how to love even more. And it can be catching! So if there is any New Years resolution worth having at all, it has to be spending more time like this. Knowing Love and sharing it is our True Life in God. Enjoy!
With best wishes and prayers
If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or