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January 2019

From our Priest:
When something good happens in our lives, we usually want to savour the moment and enjoy it. Perhaps we’ve passed exams or been successful in getting a new job. Maybe our football team has just won the league (I wish, being a CCFC fan; guess which team?), or we’re enjoying the view from the top of a mountain. Or it might be a special occasion, birthday, anniversary and we want it to last.
Some of us feel that way about Christmas. For all those who are looking forward to it being all over, there are many who want Christmas to last. To hold on to that specialness for the duration of the Twelve Days, like England did in times of old, when the period was one of continuous feasting and merry making. A break for many from the normal harshness of everyday life. Perhaps we’re attached to the decorations and the tree or the Christmas lights in the city centre and we don’t want them to come down.
Importantly as Christians we celebrate the nativity of our Lord, as God made human and we share the awe and wonder of the nativity scenes.
For all the savouring of a special time however, we cannot stay still. The birthday party draws to a close and the top of the mountain with the fantastic view (I hope you’re all fit?) is followed by the descent.
In the season of Epiphany, when we celebrate the Manifestation of Jesus to the gentiles, through the visit of the Magi, we gradually move on in the liturgical year. The spirit of Christmas should not be forgotten however, as we head towards Candlemas and then begin to turn our gaze towards Lent and Christ’s passion and suffering.
A mountain top view looks different when we come down; but it’s still there, it just looks different from where we are. Likewise the reality of the incarnation of God as the Word made flesh is an essential ingredient of our Christian faith. It doesn’t go away, it just looks and feels a bit different from Christmas, when we ponder upon Jesus in the wilderness as he prepares for his ministry and fights hunger and temptation; or when we marvel at that first sign at the wedding feast, when Jesus turns water into wine. It looks a bit different when Jesus of the gospels heals the sick or encounters the wrath of the religious authorities.
But God is with us, both in the humility of the manger, a feeding trough for animals to eat from; and in the humility and suffering of the Cross, where Jesus body is broken for all of us, that we might live.
God is with us in our doubts and sufferings, when we might feel like Jesus did on the Cross, when he said ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.’ And God is with us in our joys and festivities.
May we remind ourselves of this dynamic reality when we enter the penitential season of Lent, giving thanks for a God of all seasons, who reveals his divinity, through the ordinariness of humanity, so that sins are forgiven and death turns to life.

Fr Carl Peters

     Fr. Carl Peters
     The Clergy House
     Sawmill Lane,
     Brandon
     Durham
     DH7 8NS

     Tel: 0191 680 3875


Other Contact Telephone Numbers

Brandon, St. John's

Churchwarden - David 0191 3789718
P.C.C. secretary - Carolyn – 0191 6803875

New Brancepeth, St. Catherine's

Reader – Liz – 0191 3731554,
Churchwarden - Joe - 0191 3739927

Links

website http://www.brandonparish.org.uk/Welcome.htm

email Webmaster@brandonparish.org.uk

Facebook Links

https://www.facebook.com/StJohnTheEvangelistChurchBrandon

https://www.facebook.com/StCatherinesChurchNewBrancepeth

https://www.facebook.com/Stjohnshallmeadowfield