Mat’s January Letter

Happy New Year! How do you respond to those words? 2012 is already predicted to be a year of contrasts. It is the year of the London Olympics and also predicted to be the hardest year in our current economic crisis. I expect for some, the New Year brings promise of new possibilities whilst for others of us it may herald anxiety about the future. One thing, however, is true for all of us. The future means change. As we journey through life that is inevitable. Our personal lives and our church corporate life are not immune either.

This coming month will see Vicky Wright move on to pastures new (see on in the bulletin). There will inevitably be more comings and goings throughout the whole community in 2012. Whenever people leave, or arrive, the community changes. If we are serious about community then ‘goodbye’ means we are not the same and welcome is about openness to new possibilities. St Matthew’s community will be different by the end of this year.

As I reflect on the New Year I’m reminded that the only constant in a living church community is the centrality of our dynamic living God. Without the Holy Spirit ministering the presence of our Lord Jesus and the love of the Father, we are not church. Change and growth is a consequence of this living relationship with a God who longs to see us and the world transformed by his love. Our vision, ‘Living for Jesus’, has within it an expectation of change.

Proverbs 3:5-7Open Link in New Window exhorts us to ‘trust in the Lord with all our heart’ and warns us not to ‘rely on our own understanding’. Therein lays the key to change, a wholehearted trust in God in which we align our will to God’s. And that means seeking God, taking time to listen to him and pray. Our God is God of past, present and future. So in giving thanks for all that has been and recognising God’s living presence amongst us in the present, let’s pray together that 2012 will, above all else, be a year of listening and obedience to God’s will assured of his love and purposes for us. I hope and pray we have a blessed, fruitful and joyful 2012.

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