Bishop Rob's Message
The 7th letter to all in the Parish from Bishop Rob Gillion, who has been licensed as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln and is half time Interim Priest in Charge of our parish of St John's.
My New Year Reflection
"Let us all be uplifted in 2020"
Advent and Christmas ...
First I want to thank the parish for an uplifting Christmas, from Christingles, Carol services,
Worship around the Crib and our Midnight Mass. Added to that the care for the community with home visits, and carol singing in various care homes and our relationship with our School and St John’s Care Home. Many charities have also benefitted from the generous giving by our congregation, from leprosy mission to guide dogs for the blind, and other good causes.
... and now to 2020
Now we turn our attention to another uplifting New Year, full of hope and expectation.
All around the world the sky will be full of the noise of fireworks, tearing apart the night sky with a blaze of light and an explosion of noise on New Years Eve. It provides a mixture of fear and hope. In some way it represents perhaps the great battles of the past year and the bright light of hope in Jesus, the light of the world filling the skies. I reckoned the Angels has the same effect when proclaiming the birth of the Messiah to the Shepherds!
The Book of Revelation has at the centre of its message of the end times appropriately enough the figure of a lamb.
This is a strange contrast between the darkness of the armies of wickedness and the descriptions of the end times. For in the very centre of it all the gentle lamb who holds the key to human history and whose sacrifice is the victory of God and of his people.
The smoke of fireworks drifts away and we continue in hope to follow the lamb, infinitely gentle, not aggressive, not violent and yet infinitely more powerful than weapons with all their noise and clamour. The sacrifice of the Lamb, his death for love, is the most powerful moment in human history and the key to its meaning. The Prince of Peace.
In the Church we keep the memory of that moment alive each day, knowing that it is the source of any strength we may have.
With John the Baptist as our patron saint we continue to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and say ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God’ (John 1.35)
I wish you all a dynamic yet peaceful New Year.
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