Rector's January Thoughts
Happy New Year!
One of the ‘joys’ of having a fever and, therefore, being good for nothing except drinking water, sleeping and coughing, is that I watched a lot of ‘Christmas’ movies. You know, those movies by companies such as Hallmark which are supposed to engender a ‘Christmas feeling’ so that you perceive a need for the things advertisers are pushing.
Many of them also sell the lines that ‘you just need to believe in Christmas’, and ‘you need to have faith in Christmas’...not in Christ, but in Christmas. Or perhaps more explicitly ‘the magic of Christmas’. I wonder if people actually believe that?
Christian faith is in a person: in God himself. And people when they talked about ‘faith’ used to mean ‘in God’. But, nowadays, it seems as though we are being pushed to ‘have faith in yourself’: believe in yourself and you can do anything, apparently. This definition of ‘faith’ is that it is a sort of assertive willpower.
But Jesus always encouraged faith in God and, then as now, taught that we need to trust God. Truly trust God. And to do that we need to know who God is, and what God is doing so that we take a part in his story, rather than expecting God to arrange everything around us. It’s exciting being a part of his purpose, but it takes time and attention to see what that is, and I think our society likes instant answers, rather than merely spending time with God, and so misses out.
As a teenager we stayed at a resort where an artist was painting a very large mural. He wouldn’t tell us what it was going to be. Over those couple of weeks I became aware that his assistant was anticipating which paint he’d need next and getting it ready without being asked, she didn’t always get it right, but she also didn’t expect to be given detailed instructions as to what to do next. She watched carefully and, as she got to see how the painter worked, so she became more and more adept at helping.
I have faith that God is working his purpose out, and the more I observe what God is doing and how and when and why, the easier it becomes both to anticipate what I can do to help, and to trust in him. I’m praying that Holy Habits will increase our faith so that we can all draw closer to him, that we will all be able to take our place in his story as we continue to learn more of him and his ways. 2020 is going to be an exciting year. See you on the 6th, when I’ll be back from holiday.
With much love,