On Sunday, 2 February, we will play host to our friends from the congregations that make up Largs Churches Together as we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple. This is commonly called ‘Candlemas’ and it falls 40 days after our celebration of our Lord’s Incarnation at Christmas.
It seems to me that this month sums up what this celebration is all about, for it begins with us still glancing back to Christmas, and yet it will close with us turning to begin our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday.
Candlemas is a pivotal festival, at the end of which we finally veil the Christmas Crib; turning from what is past and toward the future.
All through life we, as human beings must do this. Change is part of life’s experience bringing with it the challenge to let go of the past and to adapt to meet the new realities that emerge. This is a process in which we have no choice. We can either do so unwillingly, clinging to what no longer is and fearing what has come to be; or we, as people of faith in God, whose love remains constant, can embrace the new with open hearts and the excitement that comes from all that may yet be experienced and achieved.
As I write this our College of Bishops have recently elected The Rt Revd Kevin Pearson as our new Diocesan Bishop. May we welcome him as the one called to lead our Church in mission in this new beginning both for him and for us.
Central to all of this is prayer, for it is the means by which we can commune with, and be guided by, the Lord himself. May this new year and this new decade be one in which our faith is deepened and our mission renewed; that the world may come to be blessed through us.