I sit in my new home, writing my first every article of for a parish magazine. Yes that’s right to date I’ve never written a magazine article before. So here I am venturing into another first for me! In fact, the past few months have been full of personal firsts. When I was ordained the first year of my ministry was full of the firsts also, and when one goes to a new parish its like starting all over again. I’m having to learn new ways of doing things by using my experience of the past to inform how I carry out such needs. Living in a new and unknown house is also a bit strange. I need to know how things work and until they go wrong, just like the heating and hot water did spectacularly just a few weeks ago, I’m learning about it all out for the first time!
The 2nd of February marks a first in the life of the Holy Family. It’s the first time Our Blessed Lady and St Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem in order for him to be presented in the temple. It is the last feast day of the Christmas season which we keep. Held 40 days after the Birth of Christ, it seeks to remember the dedication of an infant 40 days after they are born in the Jewish faith. And of course in line with that tradition they go to dedicate him to the Lord.
Mary and Joseph had never done this before! They knew about it obviously due to their experience of being in a Jewish community of faith. They would have seen other families take their children to the temple for this important step. I can only imagine there must have been an awful lot of pressure upon them to do this right it the eyes of those around them.
However their intention, their motivation was their faith and honouring of the Lord. Many of you I’m sure will have enough experience of life to know that when intentions are right, and especially those which are made with the Lord in mind, then things come well of them. Julian of Norwich one of Britain’s most famous mystic sisters wrote of things of God: “All will be well, all will be well and all manner of things will be well.” This was her true understanding of Christ. That in and through him everything would be absolutely fine.
This is what I believe not only of my move here but of all that we aim to do in his name. What ever our own fears and anxieties and worries nothing is to be feared with God. For he his all things and through all things and above all. This doesn’t have to be in the big huge life changing decisions but in the small acts and everyday things that life has to throw us.
Our life as the Holywell community and as ministers of the gospel here in this place is still very new and we are still experiencing lots of firsts. But we do so in the power of the Holy Spirit, who guides and supports us through our endeavours. Yes we don’t always get them right, but our intention is always the proclamation of Christ’s gospel, for the good of His Kingdom, so that those you and who are yet to know his love be experience it in abundance.
So please continue to hold the community and Fr Mark and I in your prayers as we continue to try and understand the needs and desires or our community and how best to serve them. And for now, to God Be the Glory for great things he has done!