A Vicar Writes: February 2019

Well we’re in to February already! You’ll be aware that we don’t produce a magazine in January so this is the first edition of 2019. With that in mind, can I wish you a very  ‘Happy New Year’.

The adverts have started in earnest, ‘A New Year – A new You!’ It’s the same every January, after the Christmas festivities, when perhaps we have over indulged a little, we are prompted to think again about our lifestyle and to enter the new year with a changed approach; the desired outcome a slimmer, fitter, NEW you! Perhaps I’m getting cynical in my old age, but I always laugh as I drive by the local gyms with their transparent glass windows showing the passing public the cliental inside feverishly working up a sweat!  I wonder to myself how many of them will still be attending sessions by the end of this month!

For all my cynicism it’s a good thing to take stock of your life, to think about what you eat, how much exercise you take etc etc. After all a healthy lifestyle is important and the benefits are there for all to see.

It was this idea of ‘A New You’ that shaped my thinking with the 2019 Motto verse. As stated above, we are all encouraged to become more physically fit, however I want to encourage us all in 2019 to become more spiritually fit.  The motto verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 says;  ‘Therefore is anyone is in Christ they are a new creation: The old has gone, the new is come!’

In this we are reminded that if we call ourselves a Christian, we have invited the Lord Jesus Christ into our lives, therefore He dwells in us through his Holy Spirit. We are therefore ‘in Christ’ and because of that we are a new creation, found in Him and we are changed by His presence in our lives. And this process of change is a ongoing transformation, a daily renewal of grace. Its not something that takes place overnight (although it can) but it is a process. God is in the business of transformation!

‘The old has gone, the new has come’.

What does this look like? Well, it means the old self, with its old ways is no more – in its place is a new person, found in Jesus. It doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to be a saint! (That will never happen!) However, it means that through the Holy Spirit living in us each day, we are shaped by Him and called to become a little bit more like Jesus. It’s a daily process and like any relationship its one that we have to invest in!

The new you, is called to spend time deepening and growing in our relationship with God. We do this by reading the bible, praying and by spending time with other Christians. My challenge to each of us this year is to spend some quality time investing in our relationships with God and each other. Try to find a rhythm that works for you of daily reading and prayer, maybe early morning is best or later on in the day?

Equally important, lets invest in our relationships with other members of the Church? Could you invite someone round for a meal? A Coffee? Could you get more involved in the various ministry groups that we run, the men’s group, the women’s group? The Tuesday drop in? etc etc. Why not join a house group? These are a great way of getting into the bible but also making new friendships with others at Church.

Lets use 2019 to get Spiritually fit, ‘The old has gone the new is come’ Could 2019 really be the year we see a NEW YOU!!!!!!

I look forward to seeing you in and around the parish.

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