Sue Mann

19th December 2022

Rector’s Reflections

One of the privileges for me, over the Christmas period, was to hear a beautiful song sung by children in our schools.

Some of the words are:

If a wise man knows where the Saviour’s born,

guided by a shining star

to the world he shows why he came so far

understanding who you are

What can I bring, what can I sing

to honour you my friend and king?

Who can describe this love of mine

the holy Saviour so divine?

When a child is born and the reason why

is to love this broken world,

how can I repay? Can the only way

be to love him in return?

Taken from ‘What can I bring’ from ISing Christmas

These words are particularly appropriate in the season of Epiphany which we celebrate this month, marking the visit of the Wise Men, or Magi, to Jesus. We often see images of three of them, although we don’t actually know how many of them there were. The number three probably corresponds with the number of gifts which were, of course, gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold represented kingship, frankincense – worship and myrrh – death and dying; a foretaste of what was to come. Needless to say, these would all have been very expensive gifts.

I don’t know about you, but as we start a new year, I often set many resolutions only to find that halfway through the first month I have failed in at least half of them.

This year, instead of creating a huge, long list, it is my plan simply to ask God in my prayer time each morning, ‘What can I bring to honour you?’ We all know that the best gift we can give anyone is love, and our relationship with God is no different, so really, in saying those words, I will be asking God how best I can love him.

Love sometimes requires sacrifices and our love for God is no different. This means when we follow God, we are sometimes called to make difficult choices, to say no to things we have previously done or to commit to taking on something new. The book of Hebrews in the Bible is written for Christians who are being persecuted for their faith. We don’t know who wrote it, but it urges them on in their faith, listing heroes of faith in the past, describing them as a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ and at the end of the letter, the Christians are reassured by the words of Jesus, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’

This year, I encourage you to step out in faith and ask Jesus what you can bring to honour him. Love takes many forms but it is my firm belief that we all have something to offer and that following Jesus is the most exciting things we can ever do.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Take care and God bless,