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Ruth writes ...                         

I'm not sure what your abiding memory of the Christmas Season will be??

For me, I think it was the curry jars! As a Church Family we pledged to gather together about 100 jars of curry sauce for the Bournemouth Foodbank. Jars of curry which could be packed into hampers and delivered to people in need.

Well, true to form, our Church Family didn't stop at 100 but eventually we had the amazing total of 263 jars if my Maths is correct ...

In December at our Family Service, I talked with the children about the nature of waiting, hence our Advent calendars, our diaries for 2018; but then we talked together as adults about the nature of R.E.  No, not Religious Education but Realised Eschatology, a way of making earth more heavenly in the here and now. A kind of working to make the kingdom values more relevant and accessible to more people.

For me this is a perfect link into the Feast of Epiphany, when the Wise men saw the baby Jesus, the moment he was shown to the whole world, no-one is quizzed whether they deserve to know and feel loved by Jesus or indeed deserve to receive some jars of curry.

Recently, as I was conducting a Funeral Service for a member of our Church Family, I read again those words " Give us the wisdom and grace to use aright the time that is left to us here on earth". Or as Carol Ann Duffy, our Poet Laureate has it, ‘what will you do with the gift of your left life?'

Maybe as we start our New Year we can resolve to try to use our time more wisely, to experience the awe and wonder as the Wise Men did at Epiphany. In many countries the 12 days of Christmas end on 5th January, the eve of Epiphany. So even if you feel you've had enough of the Carols in the shops, the relentless buying of pressies and the ubiquitous ‘Round Robin' letter, hold fast and enjoy the manifestation of the baby Jesus to all.

After all that's what Epiphany is all about ...

With amazing blessings for a Magical Epiphany and a healthy 2018,