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
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
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
Tel: 0191 680 3875
Other Contact Telephone Numbers
Churchwarden - David 0191 3789718
P.C.C. secretary - Carolyn – 0191 6803875
Brancepeth, St. Catherine's
Reader – Liz – 0191 3731554,
Churchwarden - Joe - 0191 3739927