The Parish of Sandal Magna

Novelty


We like what is new. A brand new present is considered better than something second-hand. Something new has the potential for surprising and delighting us. But the novelty soon wears off through habitual use, and we can crave something else that is new. The word novelty also has the connotation of something being superficial and shiny, not having lasting value. Perhaps that is why New Year celebrations can sometimes leave us feeling a bit empty. New Year celebrations are marked by magnificent firework displays, but maybe a firework is a fitting symbol for something that comes and goes with spectacular but brief duration. Other cultures celebrate on different days and in different ways. Nyepi, the Balinese New Year on 9th March is a day of self-reflection and rest. For many New Year can be a time of taking stock, reviewing the achievements or disappointments of the past year and looking ahead with resolutions to make better use of the coming year.

In the Christian calendar, New Year comes half way between Christmas and Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of the Wise Men to find Jesus. Jesus is first seen by ordinary people, the shepherds, and then by the scholars, in that order. These groups of people represent wonder and wisdom, rich and poor, and as we find in the life of Jesus and the teaching of Paul, Jesus is concerned about all people, but priority is given to the poor and disadvantaged. Perhaps in the uncertainty of the coming year, we too can make it a priority to serve the needs of the poor and the lonely in our communities, while acknowledging our own poverty of spirit and need of God’s generous grace.

One of our major ministries is Christians against Poverty. Sometimes we may begin the New Year in debt and that is where the debt counselling of Christians against Poverty can be helpful to anyone in need. Just ring 0800 328 0006 for free help.

Rupert




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