First, I take this opportunity to thank all those who worked hard in so many different ways to prepare for and enable our Christmas worship, those behind the scenes and those “upfront”. The church looked beautiful, the liturgies were offered worthily, and the music was uplifting. It was encouraging to note a good attendance, particularly at Midnight Mass.

Secondly, I wish a very Happy and Peaceful New Year to all friends and family of St James’, near and far!

As the Roman world of 2000 years ago was beset by violence, political strife and greed, so it seems is our world today. For Christians, in Jesus Christ a light of hope which cannot be extinguished came into the world then, and comes to us today. This light shines in the darkness around us and drives away fear and despair. As we continue to rejoice in the incarnation of Jesus, the Light of the World, God’s Son coming amongst us to share our human life, and as we begin the New Year, let us look for this light, and pray for grace to reflect it to all around us by the lives we lead and the love we show.

I close with words from a poem, quoted by King George VI in his Christmas broadcast, 1939.

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

From God Knows

by Minnie Louise Haskins

 

With every blessing for 2018 and all it will bring,

Fr Kevin