Miranda’s July Reflection
Meet for Brunch 2nd July
What about coming along to the parish hall on 2nd July, some time between 11am and 12.30pm? Everyone is welcome, and you’ll enjoy it – who wouldn’t when there are bacon rolls!
It’ll be an informal opportunity for all ages to meet with friends over Brunch (including those bacon rolls and vegetarian options), to relax, chat, and maybe discuss a current issue if you want to – not to put anyone straight, but to share thoughts, knowledge, experience. There’s no pressure, no wrong question, almost certainly no one right answer, either!
It seems to me to be vitally important that we listen to the views and opinions of others, to be willing to develop our understanding, to share insights and wisdom. It can be all too easy to have a view on a subject, and stop thinking, be content that we know what’s right and what’s wrong. In reality, though, it’s difficult to have a true picture of an issue if we only hear our own voice, and the voices of those who agree with us.
We’ve had some really good conversations about social media, family, and relationships over recent months, and our understandings and knowledge has been developed and expanded.
Of course, you don’t have to join in with any of that if you don’t want to – just come along, enjoy the food, the company, and the space and time to relax. Everyone of any age is welcome – children can sit with parents and carers, run about, or join in with their own activities.
Keep an eye open, too, for news of an Alpha course taking place this autumn – a great way to explore and/or re-discover your relationship with God.
Have a wonderful summer!
Miranda’s June Reflection
As many of you know, on 4th June this year, Christians all over the world will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, a major Christian festival. What you may not know is that the word Pentecost comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth”, pentekoste, and was used by Greek-speaking Jews for one of their own celebrations, the Feast of Weeks – and they were using it long before Christians were. The Feast of Weeks celebrations take place on the fiftieth day after the Passover, and has two strands: one, that of celebrating the bringing in of the wheat harvest and, two, the giving of the Law to Moses, believed to have taken place on this day.
For Christians, of course, it celebrates a very different event, and takes place on the fiftieth day of Easter. The event we recall is God’s gift of his Holy Spirit to the Church, a gift which empowers us to undertake the mission entrusted to us by the risen Christ. As one of our seasonal liturgical texts puts it:
And now we give you thanks
because in fulﬁlment of your promise
you pour your Spirit upon us,
ﬁlling us with your gifts,
leading us into all truth,
and uniting peoples of many tongues
in the confession of one faith.
You give us power to proclaim your gospel to all nations
and to serve you as a royal priesthood.
The Jewish Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Law; the Christian Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit; the Jewish Pentecost celebrates the wheat harvest; the Christian Pentecost celebrates a far more spectacular harvest: that of a whole world ready and waiting to be brought in to God’s Kingdom.
Miranda’s May Reflection
Easter Day is a few weeks behind us now, but we remain in the season of Easter – lasting as it does right through to Pentecost, which this year falls on 4th June.
So what does it mean to be in the Easter season? Haven’t we got all our celebrations of the resurrection out of the way by now? Well, no – as Easter people, we never do, as these resurrection celebrations lie at the heart of our faith and belief. On that basis, it seems only appropriate that the festival of Easter should last the full 50 days from the Easter Vigil through to Pentecost.
In preparation for Easter, Lent was a time of personal reflection – an opportunity for self-examination and penitence. A time to make a commitment to live lives that reflect Christ’s character; lives of passion and compassion, hungry for justice and thirsty for peace. Now we can put into practice the decisions that we made about our future selves, our place within God’s family.
For what an extraordinary gift we have been given in and through Christ. New life is ours, a new beginning with all wrongs put behind us, the opportunity to live purposeful lives shaped by Christ.
We need prayerful determination to allow Christ to reshape us – but if we have this determination then we can celebrate not just his resurrection, but the resurrection of ourselves.
Pentecost is not far off – the birthday of the Church – a reminder that what we do, we do in the power of the Holy Spirit, who blows through and into our lives, sweeping away our doubts and hesitations, and sending us out into the world to proclaim the Good News of lives resurrected through love.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believe in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be save through him. John 3:16-17