The year 2021 has arrived – a new year with new opportunities. In January we often reflect on what has been and make plans for the coming year.
New and Wonderful Things
Posted in Faith
Here in South Australia this last week has been especially challenging for many of us.
Once again we have had to adapt and modify our practices with very short notice. This has put extra strain on congregations, Ministers, leaders and staff.
Although we have become somewhat used to changing directives, the severity and speed with which they came into effect added to many people’s stress levels. As a consequence many things that were planned did not happen, while others were significantly modified. I am thankful for the level of care and concern we have shown for each other and the different way in which pastoral support has been offered.
Once again our Emergency Relief Centres identified and implemented new ways of supporting the vulnerable and congregations worshipped in different ways. I am encouraged by the intentional ways we have connected with God, with each other and with our wider communities while being unable to leave our homes. It shows that we can be the church while things are not happening as expected.
I am reminded of the words of next Sunday’s lectionary reading from Mark 13. ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.’
As we prepare for Advent and Christmas we make plans, we wait with anticipation the celebration of the birth of Jesus and this year more than others we know something about waiting with uncertainty, wondering in what way we will remember the coming of Jesus to us.
As we plan for Christmas, we also look back on the year that was, and it has been challenging, and I am sustained by how our community has responded and how we are still able to be connected with each other in faith in spite of, and because of, the challenges before us.
As our state and nation move towards a level of ‘COVID-normality’ may we see the joy and hope that the Christmas season brings and may God continue to do new and wonderful things in our lives.
More from Faith
As the Advent season draws to a close, we are asked to contemplate the spiritual truth of this season: ‘Unto us a child is born.’
A new year has once again begun and usually we look to starting afresh with the hope of a great year ahead.