Weekly letter from St Luke's - 11 December 2020
Dear Parish Friends
In our services recently we have been reading a lot from the book of Isaiah. As a prophet who encouraged the Jews to look forward in hope to the restoration of Jerusalem, a new beginning, his writings are very relevant to the season of Advent, as we too look towards the new beginning that Christ’s coming brings. I was particularly struck this week by a verse read at Evening Prayer on Wednesday:
I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. (Isaiah 45:3)
In Genesis, it is from the chaos (the darkness) that God creates. Then St John, in his opening chapter, tells of the Word made flesh; “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5). It is a message of hope in the most dark of times, from a God who is personally concerned about us, who calls us by name.
We will read some more from the first chapter of John on Sunday, where we will meet again John (the Baptiser, not the Evangelist penning the gospel). Here we will be reminded of the need to witness to this light in the darkness. The Advent message is one that inspires us to pray for (to take the CMS motto) ‘a world that knows Jesus’.
This is a timely reminder for us as we continue to look to developing our Mission Action Plan. We had a very good meeting last night and identified a number of proposals that we will work to put together in a comprehensive plan over the next couple of months. I would very much welcome the input of others to this process to ensure that the plan we develop can be embraced by our whole community. Let me know your thoughts and/or watch out for further meeting opportunities.
I look forward once again to worshipping with you this weekend. We will be sharing our first Carol Service on Saturday at 6pm, preceding this with a community barbeque from 5pm. This is an excellent opportunity for you to bring your extended family and friends to sing familiar carols and hear the real Christmas story.
Please note that there will not be a streamed Zoom service on Saturday at 6pm, but our 9am service will be streamed as usual on Sunday. The notice paper and service sheets for the Sunday 9am service are attached.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ