United Benefice of Morton and Stonebroom with Shirland


This month’s Parish Letter from Father Chris:-

Dear Friends

First of all, may I wish you a very happy new year (and new decade!) I trust that you had a good Christmas and found time to relax and refresh. Of course Christmas is not just one day, but one of the liturgical seasons, which runs to midnight on 5th January, after which we move into the season of Epiphany. The Epiphany celebrates 'the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles'; in other words the fact of Christ coming into the world for everyone, not just the Jewish people. Central to the narrative of the Epiphany is the arrival of the Magi, the three wise men, bearing their gifts for the Christ child; and those gifts are not without significance in terms of their symbolism. Gold, which represents earthly kingship; frankincense with its connotation of the Divine; and myrrh, an embalming oil with its foreshadowing of that baby's destiny. 

We often hear people referring to having had an 'epiphany experience' meaning they had a moment of sudden realisation or clarity. However, the Greek root of the word (epiphanea) speaks of something deeper than that: nothing less than a divinely-inspired insight. So it was, that the wise men had an epiphanea experience when they saw that baby for who he truly was: God himself incarnate. 

So, Christmas with its presents, the Magi with their gifts and that baby who is God's greatest gift to the world. I have said before that I am not a great one for new year resolutions, but perhaps we could all reflect on the following. We, every one of us, can be a gift to the world in terms of how we live our lives, interact with others and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. Then perhaps we can each be a catalyst to an epiphany experience in the life journeys of those we meet.

Every blessing,   

                                                                           Fr Chris.

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