St John's Church, High Legh
The first days of January are usually seen as a time for reflection. People look back on the events of the past year and, like Mary after the visit of the shepherds, ponder in their hearts what the coming year will bring. In Roman times the god Janus, from whom January gets its name, had two faces, one looking backward and the other forward. Every new year my newspaper publishes its columnists’ predictions in respect of business, social trends, finance, technology etc. Many people, believe that the vote last year to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump as USA President has made predicting the future more difficult than usual.
Some commentators tell us that we are entering a period of great opportunity and that we should enthusiastically embrace the potential changes it may bring. Others predict that the events of the past year will have serious consequences for us all. Adding to the atmosphere of uncertainty is the claim that this is now a post-truth society in which people’s emotions and beliefs are more influential in shaping public policy than objective facts. False news stories spread through the medium of the internet can have an insidious influence on the choices that people make and what they believe about others. Who are we to believe? Should we adopt the words of Doris Day - ‘Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see’?
In spite of all this, some people look to the coming year with excitement and great expectation. There are the couples planning to marry during the year in our four churches. They are looking forward with keen anticipation to their big day. Then there are the couples expecting an addition to their family, their parents waiting eagerly to become grandparents. A few weeks ago one gentleman who will turn 100 this year proudly told me that he had just become a great great grandfather!
For others, however, the future is less bright. I think of those who are facing, or recovering from, operations. There are those who have lost loved ones and are having to adjust to new routines. Then there are those who are becoming increasingly limited by age and worrying about what the future holds for them. They may have hopes for the future, but the future is certainly not theirs to see. Yet all of us, wherever we are, whatever our situation, are entitled to have great expectations when it comes to the love of God for each of us. As he grew old and began to experience health issues late father-in-law used to say, “The days of my life are in the hands of God”. There was confidence in that assertion. He knew that, surrounded as he was by the love of God, even death was nothing to be afraid of.
So as we go into this coming year please have great expectations of God. If we put our trust in him and in his Son Jesus Christ then we can face the future, whatever it may hold, with confidence.
Trish and Patricia join me in wishing you every blessing for 2017. Philip
Messy Church, which meets, usually on the fourth Wednesday of each month in church at 3.45 p.m. includes stories about Jesus, activities and a meal. It is open to everyone of any age. On the second Sunday of the month, our service alternates between All-age Worship and Café Church which begins with breakfast together and provides an opportunity for discussion that aims to help us live out our Christian values in a complex world with difficult challenges. This year we are starting a story telling service for parents with young children at 4pm on the Second Sunday of the month.
If anyone would like to receive our monthly church magazine, please contact the clergy team or the Church wardens – or indeed anyone you know in church!
Church Quiz 11th March
Mother Union 1st Tuesday in the month 2.30pm
Create Chat and Coffee 2nd Tuesday 2.30pm
Parish Lunch 3rd Wednesday at 12.30pm
Film and fellowship 3rd Friday at 6pm (includes a meal)
Philip Robinson 01565 830595 Trish Cope 01925 754787