18 Oxford Road
Dear friends, January 2021
Has anyone wished you a happy new year? I hope so! Of course, none of us know what is coming this new year... but we know some of what we are leaving behind as 2020 leaves us. Many of us will have experienced not just change, but separation, loss, we may have even shed tears or at least have had harder days.
But now we look forward...
If you keep reading the gospel of Luke, beyond the shepherds, you will find Simeon (Luke 2:25). He is man who has seen the pain of the past, but he is hopeful that in God’s hands things will be more hopeful. If you read it, and please even continue and read the story of Anna, I think there are some things that may help us.
First, Simeon knew that things weren’t as God wanted them. The kingdom was broken, God’s kingdom was far from being fulfilled as people struggled. But he remained hopeful, because of God. Not because he was a positive person, but he was hopeful because of God.
Second, he knew to be looking out for God doing something new. Simeon knew that it wasn’t about returning to the old ways. He was watchful for what God was doing, something new, something different, someone humble and bold.
Third, he thanked God. Ironically, you get the sense that Simeon may well have died soon after he held the Christ child. But he thanked God because even though it wasn’t going to affect him as much, 3 things were moving forward with God. He was filled with a gift of patience.
Fourth, his humility in all of this is a nice bookend in the birth story. Mary starts the story with her humility, Simeon then adds his humility into the mix. How good it is then that it’s another woman (Anna) who adds the final touch! Hopefulness. Observant, Patience, Humility
These are great attributes for us to continue to grow both in our discipleship and as we start the new year. God bless Simeon. Really only a short, and often overlooked, passage, but a story that really can challenge us as we start a new year. We are far from out of the woods with regard to Coronavirus. We don’t know what this new year will bring. But our foundation is a faithful God. A faithful God who is with us, as revealed in the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel.
We have so much to be thankful for. But none of us is perfect, and as I write I can’t help but feel challenged myself by this man Simeon.
May God bless us in 2021.
The church diary for all our events and activities is usually published here. During the Coronavirus period we do not offer additional activities to minimise the risk of transmission.