The Vicar writes for January 2020

The Vicar writes………

A Happy New Year to everyone!

The last time I wrote I mentioned how busy the last three months of the year can be and this has been the case. The month of December raced by and it was great to see the body of our church packed for the Salvation Army Concert which proved to be a memorable occasion.  All our Christmas services were well attended with many visitors coming and the Christingle once again proved to be particularly popular with people of all ages. Despite the busyness, I hope people had that same sense that I had, of meeting and experiencing God through our worship. For a local church of any tradition to flourish and grow we must all take positive steps to allow the Holy Spirit to be welcomed among us, where the Spirit is free to act, and in which people are then encouraged and enabled to experience the Spirit’s fullness and empowering presence.

And so, looking ahead to 2020, we should be encouraged with what we see happening at St. Cross whilst recognising too that there are challenges that we face. The message is though that we should not try this on our own and the Bible is full of warnings about the futility of trying to do things in our own strength.  When God spoke to the Jewish leader Zerubbabel about the huge rebuilding of the Temple God called him to oversee, he was reminded that his work could not be achieved by human power and might but only by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4.6). This same prayerful dependence on God was communicated by Jesus to his disciples as being essential to the health and growth of his church (John 15.5).

As we move into 2020, continuing to celebrate in the season of Christmas and then Epiphany we should seek to deepen the prayer life of the church like those first disciples did.  Likewise, the Wise Men were open to God’s Spirit in experiencing a dream warning them to return to their country avoiding King Herod.  The disciples and the wise men were leaders in different ways, but their roles are a pointer for ourselves.

My role as the Vicar is to be a living servant of Christ, to mould the congregation, and to allow St Cross Church to be a place where we cooperate with the dynamic of the Holy Spirit of God.  It should not be a solitary experience but one where everyone should be seeking to deepen their experience of God and their faith being guided or assisted by those who have been entrusted with leadership responsibility.  My hope and prayer for 2020 is for the Spirit’s presence in our Church to be further welcomed and that more people may either come to Christ, or to have their faith enriched and deepened in him who is the guiding light for the whole world.

Yours in His Service

Paul