Park Grove Methodist Church
A Letter from our Minister, Rev Ann Fox
Minister’s Letter (December 2017 - January 2018)
You may recall that in the last Link, we talked about the chosen theme of the President and Vice-President of Conference for this Connexional year - ‘Day by Day – exploring the rhythm of mission and discipleship’. Rev Loraine and Jill encourage us to think of a ‘Spiritual Five-A Day’: Pray, Give thanks, Act, Read and reflect and Keep silence. We began by looking at ‘Pray’.
As we are currently in Advent, approaching Christmas and the New Year, perhaps this is good time to look at the theme of ‘Read and reflect’.
Read Psalm 130: 5-6. Let’s pause and think about the words. Put yourself in the Psalmist’s shoes, praying for the Lord to come to his help. Are we “waiting eagerly”? Ask yourself, as we begin the Advent journey, what are you hoping for? How might the Advent Hope of Jesus change your life?
I remember when I used to give piano lessons to young people. I would begin to teach them how to play Christmas carols in early November, so that they would be able to play them at Christmas.
How much preparation do we give ourselves as Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas? I don’t just mean preparing for services and activities at church, but personal preparation. Read ‘The Song of Mary’, her ‘Magnificat’, Luke 1: 46-55, as she ‘magnifies’, or sings her ‘praises’. Reflect on the mystery of the Lord’s incarnation; of God choosing what is weak to shame the strong; the lowly are made high and the high are brought low; the hungry are filled and the rich sent away empty; the last become first, and the least become the greatest. Reflect on what that means to us as a Christian community. Think about what it means to you personally.
The New Year is always a good time to reflect on the previous year and look to the future year with hope and expectation. What about the present time? Read Psalm 72 (lectionary reading for 7 January) and verse 15. What gift could the poor bring to the king that is worth more than gold? Prayers. Let’s reflect on how we use prayer; when do we how pray; how do we pray; who and what do we pray for? The Psalm is a vision of harmony under God, in a world where only our Lord Jesus Christ can be King. In our own judgements, rules and decisions, let’s pray for Him to use us as channels of his peace, within our church, our families and our communities.
“Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring our love; where there is injury, your pardon Lord; and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.”
Through Advent, Christmas and into the New Year, may we find our spaces of quiet to ‘Read and reflect’ on the coming of Jesus and His truth within our lives.
Eagerly wait, prepare to celebrate His birth, pray for His peace.
The booklet ‘Day by day’ is available from The Methodist Church (www.mph.org.uk or 0845 07 8220) and can be downloaded from the Methodist Church website Methodist.org.uk (see ‘Prayer and Worship’ tab, then ‘Day by Day’).