For a couple of weeks we have a pause between the celebrations of Christmas and the Epiphany, and the time of reflection and preparation that is Lent. In this Sunday’s Gospel reading though we go back to a reading heard at Christmas in the wonderful poetry and rich imagery of John’s Gospel, as we hear of the Word made real to us in the person of Jesus.
This is also the last Sunday when Jeremy is with us. Alison and Simon will help lead the service and Jeremy will speak and lead the prayers. Reading are from Gayle and David our Churchwardens.
This Sunday’s service comes from St Gregory’s Church, Seaton, and will be shared on its Facebook page from 10.00am. The video will also be available view later.
Shortly after Jesus was born his parents would have made the six mile trip from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to fulfil the Jewish tradition of giving thanks for the birth of their first child. There were probably several families who made such a trip that day, and yet two elderly people of faith singled out this child as one who would do God’s work in a special way. Their words spoke of both joy and suffering, but always of hope.
This Sunday’s service will be live-streamed from St Gregory’s Church, Seaton, starting at 10.00am. This week the Gospel reading tells us of Nathaniel, a “true Israelite”, and we consider how the message about Jesus spread. The service can be viewed on Facebook live or at any time afterwards.
The difficult decision has been made to cease gathered Sunday Services for the foreseeable future. Whilst Churches are allowed to be open for Services and we have shown ourselves able to make our activities Covid safe I feel that, with the more virulent form of the virus and the more
total lockdown imposed on the wider community, we should play our part by closing as a means of reducing transmission.
Our Church buildings will remain open on Wednesdays, from 10.00am to 12.00noon, for private prayer. Please bring a mask, use the sanitiser provided, and follow social distancing practice.
A live service from one of our Church buildings will be shared on Facebook at 10.00am each Sunday. This will be available be viewed live or at any time afterwards.
As the Church celebrates the Epiphany, we remember the Magi coming to visit Jesus. This story is always bundled up with the imagery of Christmas, but we don’t actually know when the Magi arrived. We also tend to forget that these visitors were from what appeared a strange and exotic land, and were of another faith from Joseph and Mary’s people. The story of the Epiphany is a great story of God opening up the wonder of Christmas to all peoples, whoever they are.
Today we depart briefly from the stories of Christmas and hear about St John, Apostle and Evangelist. John wrote beautifully about the significance of Christmas in his Gospel, thought to be the final one written. He didn’t want to simply rehash stories other had written so well, but brought a new dimension to our understanding of this timeless story.