Happy new year.
Enormous thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our Christmas celebrations so special: lesson readers, interceders, bell ringers, musicians and singers, decorators and flower arrangers, mince pie bakers, tea & coffee makers, and mulled wine warmers, those who have helped us to welcome people into a nice warm church, and those who’ve counted collections and cleaned and tidied up afterwards. And extra special thanks and apologies to anyone I’ve missed out from the list.
We enter the season of Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the wise men from the East in Bethlehem. We’re not told in the bible who they are, or how many they were – we assume there were three of them because of the three gifts. What we do know about them is that they were wealthy: travel has always been expensive, and the gifts were luxurious, and that they were followers of other faiths than Judaism. In the Christ child they recognised King, God and sacrifice, and worshipped him, before his own people recognised him.
As we enter the new year we need to be like the wise men – looking out for where God is doing something new, calling us out of our safety and complacency, to journey with him, so that more people can be drawn to him.