When I left my last parish I was given a lovely rose bush called a Rambling Rector and I thought that this would be a good title for a regular monthly article for the Bernwode News. I hope that, like the rose, it will flourish and blossom providing some moments of beauty. However, there may be a few thorns along the way if I tackle some challenging issues!
It seemed appropriate to start this series of articles at the beginning of a new year; a time when we are looking forward to all that the months ahead will hold for us. A new year brings a sense of excitement and anticipation but for some people it may also contain fears for the future. As Christians we believe that God is with us at all times, sharing our joys and supporting us in our sorrows. We have just celebrated Christmas and the message of the incarnation (God made human) is that God is one of us, sharing our humanity and understanding our needs.
John and I are looking forward to the New Year with eager anticipation. 2015 should be a time of family celebrations for us. Our daughter, Katie, is getting married at Easter and our niece is expecting her first baby in June. These two occasions will be opportunities for us to get together with family and friends and celebrate the joys of family life.
So much planning and preparation goes into organising a wedding. We are fortunate that Katie and her fiancé, Tim, are arranging nearly everything – booking the church and reception venue, sending out invitations, sorting out the catering, organising the flowers and photographer. Katie is making her own wedding dress and Tim has been allocated the task of making and decorating the wedding cake. They are also going to Edinburgh in February to make their own wedding rings! I am delighted that I shall be involved in planning the service with them, and I’m going to be able to conduct the service together with their local vicar. All the discussions and planning draw us closer together as a family, as we share ideas and learn about each other’s preferences.
In the same way the church family draws closer together when we share worship, pray together and discuss our faith. We learn about each other and gain a better understanding of each member of the church family. As we understand more about our fellow Christians and our faith we also develop a closer relationship with God. We become more aware of the presence of God in our lives through our worship and through our contacts with friends and family.
I hope that the New Year brings many blessings and joys for each one of you, so that you may know the presence of God in your life this year.