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New Year's Resolutions - January message from the Ministry Team

January 6th is the day in the Christian calendar on which we traditionally commemorate Epiphany. The word epiphany is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to appear’, ‘to come’ or ‘to give light’. That is why the word is associated with those moments of sudden and great revelation or realisation; when we ‘see the light’ and have one of those ‘light bulb’ moments.

In Christian tradition, Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas season and marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas. On this day, western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the biblical Magi to the child Jesus, i.e. his revelation to the Gentiles, one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few. It is a time when we can look ahead to the mission of the church to the world in the light of the nativity.

It is interesting that Christian tradition and art have frequently depicted the shepherds and the Magi visiting the new-born Jesus at the same time and yet they are never mentioned in the same breath in the Gospels. We are told though that the Magi knelt down before Jesus and paid him homage and
gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). Some traditions say that the gold symbolised kingship on earth, frankincense symbolised priesthood, and myrrh symbolised death.

Christmas is a time in which we may enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts. At the beginning of a New Year, as we look ahead to our life in the church, and our life of faith, especially at a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions, I wonder what gifts we might bring to Jesus? How might we use our time and talents in the mission of the church and in God’s service?

I pray that you may have an epiphany at Epiphany and know Christ in a deeper way.

Yours in Christ
Revd Mark

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