Skip to main content

Getting ready for 2017

It’s time for an epiphany. Christmas continues right through January, with the 12th day of Christmas falling 5th January. Epiphany is on January 6th.

The word epiphany means “revelation”, “clarification”, “understanding”, “encounter” or “the day the penny dropped”. It is actually quite a hard word to translate from the original Greek but the experience of an epiphany is something we all know about. It is the moment when you have been looking at the bus timetable for a few minutes before you suddenly get what it is telling you. It is the time when you take a dictionary to research an unfamiliar word, or you are following a map, but don’t understand the detail it shows until you actually put boots on the ground. It is the experience of fog lifting form over the Mersey, receding tide, replacing the blown lightbulb, that time when something partly hidden is revealed in all its detail, when a story told by someone else is made your own for the first time, because you have seen it for yourself. It is a moment of apprehension mixed with relief, of joy and peace, of growing confidence.

The Epiphany celebrated in the church calendar is all about the growing understanding of who Jesus was to be, in his own community and across the world, for his own and every nation. The best known metaphor of this growing awareness is the journey of the Wise Men, however many of them there were. They left their comfortable home, undertook a long and hazardous journey, and eventually gathered in a humble stable way beyond their comfort zone, to meet a family who were seriously unprepared for celebrity guests. And why did they do all this? They were led by a star, behind whose brightness they detected God at work. None of us knows the events that await us, either personally or nationally, during the coming year, but a small dose of that same persistent faith and trust will stand us all in good stead as 2017 unfolds.

Happy New Year.


Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Pool

I was on the cusp of buying a birthing pool.   They are inflatable and relatively cheap.  Unfortunately, they are intended for women of about 5'9" height.  I, however, required the birthing pool for a man.  The man in question was over 6' tall.  He was, of course, not going to give birth but, rather, he had been born again.  The pool was required for baptism.  So instead of the birthing pool I bought a paddling pool.  The pool was 12' in diameter but only 30" high.  I set it up in the garden and filled it with water.  On my getting into the pool to try it out the week before the baptism, there was a veritable tidal wave engulfing a large section of my lawn.  No good then.  Instead I borrowed a custom made baptistry from a nearby church.  The baptism went swimmingly.
A couple of days before the baptism, which took place in our regular Sunday morning service, there was a pool tournament in our church.  The guy who was about to be baptised in the baptismal pool won…

Have friends by being a friend!

The more sociable you are, the happier you are.  As you age, it gets more difficult to find friends and meet people on a regular basis than when we were children. Those who seek out friendships and rate this as important, also rate themselves as being happier. 

Individuals who isolate themselves fall more easily into depression and stress. Introverts need friends just as much as extroverts do, and friends can help take the edge off of loneliness and sadness. Even if you are not a natural extrovert, make a point of building friendships in order to contribute towards your mental health and happiness.

People who rely on others to lift themselves up tend to be less stressed and depressed. Having a close friend you can talk to about your problems can serve as an important aid in releasing negative feelings. Confiding in a friend tends to reverse feelings of loneliness, and most friends offer words of comfort which affects you in a positive way, knowing that someone cares. 

Being the one your …

How to Face Discouragement

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  (2 Kings 6:16) The King of Aram was determined to capture the nation of Israel. He set an ambush and waited for the king’s men. Israel’s troops showed up…but they weren’t surprised by the attack. They’d been prepared for it and they fought valiantly. This happened again and again. Finally the King of Aram demanded to know which one of his troops was a spy for Israel. One troop came forward to explain that the prophet, Elisha, was warning Israel about these planned ambushes. So, the King of Aram decides that he needs to kill Elisha and then his plans to ambush Israel will be successful. When he learns where Elisha is, he gathers his troops and surrounds the area. The next morning, Elisha’s servant looks out the window. He’s shocked to see so many troops and more than a little afraid. Elisha sees his servant’s discouragement and utters a bold prayer. And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord…