Pastoral Letter for February 2019

Dear Friends,

“The LORD you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.”  These words from the beginning of the third chapter of the book of the prophet Malachi would have been well known to the ancient Israelites.

It is a passages we may know from Handel’s ‘Messiah’; words that Christians recall on the Feast of the Presentation.  This is usually kept on 2 February and celebrates the day in which Mary and Joseph brought the Christ Child to dedicate him to God as their firstborn Son.

Although the Temple in Jerusalem was as busy as always that day for most it was just like any other.  People were going about their usual business, completely unaware that the Messiah was, in fact, there in their midst.  Only Simeon and Anna, in their old age, were open to the possibility that this ancient prophecy might, in fact, come about within their own lifetime.

What is striking to me is the truth is speaks; that God does, indeed, come among us.  He does so often at unexpected times and in unusual ways.  I guess few, that day so long ago, thought for a minute that the Lord would come as a helpless infant; one dependent on the actions of his earthly parents.  Yet, this is exactly how it was.  The longed for Christ arrived and most missed the event completely.

Today God still comes to us, in many ways and in many circumstances.  Only if we are expectant, and use the eyes of faith, will be discern his presence and be able to respond in loving praise and celebration.

How might the Lord suddenly appear in our life?  What new life might he bring to us and to those with whom we live and work?

Our God is a God of surprises.  Let us be open to all he seeks to be and to do in our midst today.

Yours in the faith,

Gordon

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