Shenley Parish News – January 2018

Vol 37 No 1 – January 2018

Come and See

The start of the year is a time of new resolutions and fresh resolve for the things we hope for and dream about. It is often the time we re-motivate to become our fitter-healthier-more reconciled selves.

Jesus asks his first disciples ‘What do you want?’ (John 1:38).

As we delve into this new year, Jesus’ question is a good one to consider answering for ourselves. What do I want?

So often we can look to other people and places to be the answer to ‘what we want’. I am aware of John the Baptist’s invitation to look at Jesus (John 1:29). John is baptising people in the local lake and, on seeing Jesus, he exclaims, ‘Look!’ Look closely. Really look. It’s Jesus – our rescuer, the One who can hold our hopes and dreams.

So how do we know where to look or how to recognise Jesus today? I think we can quickly say we know who Jesus is. ‘You know, Jesus – yes, he’s the baby born in Bethlehem’. Or even – ‘he is the one who died on a cross’. But I
am left wondering do we truly know him? Do we know him as the one who invites us to join his story? Do we know him as the one who, as we turn to him, hears our cry and rescues us?

So returning to Jesus’ question…what do we want? Security, a promotion, peace, reconciliation of broken relationships, to be healthier? There will be many answers to this question. The first disciples respond to this question by asking Jesus where he lives. They wanted to get to know Jesus. Jesus’ response was ‘Come…and you will see’ (John 1:39).

Jesus invites the disciples, and he invites us, to come and see. To come and see who he is.

As a friend of Jesus, I have found that He is the answer to my question of what I want. Where I am low in resolve and motivation, as I spend time looking at who Jesus is, I find that the question of what I want finds fulfilment. I warmly invite you this New Year, to join together with us at St Martin’s to look, and to look again, at who Jesus really is.

Revd Ann Poultney
Curate at St Martin’s

Click here for Shenley Parish News January 2018

Shenley Parish News – December 2017

Vol 36 No 12 – December 2017

A Christmas Present for You

I love Christmas! I love Santa! I love all the tree decorating, and endless Michael Buble Christmas songs! I love it all!! But the one thing I love the most is the reason for the season: Jesus.

Christians believe all round the world that God became a human 2000 years ago, 2000 miles away! I find this amazing and incredible that Jesus aka ‘God with us’ is ‘with us’ today, in our hearts, churches,
homes and communities.

Below, as gift to you, I have given you all a small early Christmas present! It’s a short list of some of the amazing benefits Jesus gives everyone. I encourage you to cut it out and remind yourself everyday in December of the true wonder of Christmas.

The birth of Jesus shows us that God did not mess up when he made us but, like an awesome parent, he is a father who loves to parade us!

Revd Daniel McCarthy
Vicar of St Martin’s
Shenley

Click here for Shenley Parish News December 2017 

Shenley Parish News – November 2017

Vol 36 No 11 – November 2017

Remembering

Over the years, November has become the month for remembering, with the Christian celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day at the beginning of the month, followed by Guy Fawkes Night on 5th November and then
Remembrance Day. It seems as if, with the putting of the clocks back by one hour at the end of October, we become drawn into looking to the past. As the darkness begins to encroach into the middle of the afternoon, we become
more reflective and our memories are reawakened. We remember past events in our own lives and in those of our nation.

For all of us there will be memories that bring us joy, a smile to our face and even make us laugh out loud; those that make us feel ashamed; and others that bring great sadness. Some of us need healing from or reconciling with
the events of the past. For others, memories have enabled lessons to be learnt and become a catalyst for change.
Jesus, through his teaching and actions, showed people that God is compassionate and knows us, forgives us and loves us despite our cracks and crevices. When memories are painful, you may find it helpful to use the
following prayer from Sri Lanka:

Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Living God,
breathe in us, on all that is inadequate and fragile.
make living water spring even from our hurts themselves
and transform the valley of fears into a place of wellsprings,
in an inner life with neither beginning nor end,
may your continual presence make new freshness break through.
Amen

Revd Ali Facey

Shenley Methodist Church

Click here for the full SPN November 2017