Are you welcoming the New Year?
A New Year evokes lots of different feelings and emotions depending on what sort of year you have just lived through. As a country we have had quite a challenging year in many ways. We have encountered economic instability, political tensions, rising energy costs, the death of the nations beloved Queen and on the world stage the invasion of Ukraine.
For those and perhaps personal reasons the thought of exiting 2022 in the hope for a brighter year might be the encouragement you need. However, despite the challenges we have faced it is important to recognise some of the positive things to emerge last year.
After a few difficult years of lockdown, 2022 saw the lifting of most restrictions that had segregated communities and with that was a noticeable positive change in many social spaces. In church we could celebrate Holy Communion and sharing the peace together, groups began meeting in our buildings once more and joyful noise, chatter and laughter could be heard in our churches. As much as we have valued zoom, Bible studies and meetings could now be face to face and the energy of people sharing thoughts and ideas has been truly uplifting.
The Church as the body of Christ teaches us the importance of nurturing human connections. After all we are social beings, dependent on one another, and without one another we struggle.
"A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses." Bonhoeffer
Being outside of our faith community is not good for us, we need a sense of belonging to connect us to the people and relationships that shape our Christian identity and enrich our lives.
So as we exit 2022, let's give thanks for beingre-connected to a faith community where we meet Christ in one another. As we greet 2023, let's be even more attentive in our appreciation of the fellowship we share with one another, as well as nurturing faith communities that welcome those still yet to find a sacred place to call home.
Wishing you a peace filled year.