Last year was a year like no other – and the next 12 months may not be that different!
Lest you think that to be a ‘Unhappy New Year’ greeting, please read on…
In the coming few days as we mark the Epiphany, many will reflect on how the travellers from the East came looking for the Christ-child and found him. As this year begins we too may be considering what we might be looking for in the year that is to come. And while it would be easy to focus on what we lost last year – what we did not find, if you like – it was a year where actually we found lots of new things. In particular perhaps, new ways of being Church.
We have learnt to be Church in new ways. To come to God to pray, to worship and to learn in different ways. We have come to God sanitising our hands, sitting at a distance and wearing our face coverings. We are still the church. We have come to God through online services. We are still the church. The church: not the building but the people. The body of Christ – and Christ has no body now but yours.
So as we look to 2021, it may not be that different.
It’s realistic to think that we will be living under some form of guidance and restrictions for many months. We will still be the church. Online services will continue. We will meet in our buildings as and when we can. We will see and talk to each other during the week. We will continue to pray. Continue to worship. Continue to learn. Continue to be blessed by God.
In these very unsettling, uncomfortable and uncertain times, some things do not change. As the New Year begins perhaps it is those things we need to remember to keep looking for – and finding.
‘Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.’ Teresa of Avila
My prayers for you for a peaceful, blessed and safe New Year. If you are interested, the daily pattern of reflections in Life with St Benedict begin again today. Copies can be ordered through BRF.