Rev Chris update for 10th Jan.
New Year, new lockdown. BUT the roll out of vaccines is gathering pace and the hope is that all those in the four top categories of risk, as identified by the Government, will have been offered the vaccine by the middle of February. This is good news and a step in the direction of the easing of restrictions.
In the meantime, we must play our part in keeping each other safe and ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed. The other major news of the week has been events in the USA around the change of administration – it was horrifying to see the pictures of the attack on congress. Many are saying that the words spoken by Donald Trump were inflammatory – this may, or may not, be the case, however it also helps us realise just how potent the words we speak can be, for good or ill.
It reminds me of the book of James in the bible that talks about ‘taming the tongue’. In chapter three it says this;
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
(Contemporary translation taken from taken from The Message)
I’ve met some ‘saints’ who never utter a cross word, but for most of us we are all guilty of harsh, and inappropriate, words from time to time. Half the battle is recognising that we can all do better and then to place our trust in the One who’s grace, and forgiveness, is big enough to deal with our shortcomings.
I’ve attached the usual documents that I send out each week, duly updated. Let me just draw your attention to certain items;
SERVICES & EVENTS
This Sunday I will be talking about the Christian season of Epiphany – I have a slightly different sort of blessing for you so please do tune in to find out more.
On Wednesday 20th January I am going to trial a ‘phone in’ service at 10am. This is primarily aimed at those who are unable to access online services. Next week I will issue the phone number and codes that will give access to a conference style setting in which I will conduct a service. Calls are charged at your usual rate. If it proves successful, and popular, then I will offer this again.
On Sunday 24th January I will present my usual 10am service on Facebook. However, at the same time, I will also host a zoom service for those who would welcome the opportunity to engage in some degree of fellowship. The zoom code is on the Services & Events document.
Many of you will know Connie Davies who has been very much part of the life of St Nicholas Church for many years. Sadly, she died on the morning of New Year’s Day. She will be greatly missed and I think it is not too bold of me to say that she was one of those ‘saints’ that never uttered a cross word! Her funeral will take place at St Nicholas Church on Wednesday 27th January – some of you may wish to attend that funeral but, as you know, there are restrictions on numbers, and I am yet to speak to the family. All I can say at this stage is that if you think you would like to attend then please contact me.
Have a safe and holy week. REV CHRIS