A very Happy New Year to each and every one of you!!
Now that the joys of Christmas are a fond memory with thoughts of family gatherings with the odd over-indulgence of either food or drink, we happily welcome in the new year. 2023 will, I hope, be year of peace where people in the Ukraine will be able to live without fear of missiles pounding in their communities and that war will become a distant memory. Our Lord is the Prince of Peace, and my heart goes out to all who live amongst violent people where fear is part of their daily lives.
On the 6th January we will be remembering the journey made by the Magi, the wise men, men of peace who travelled from the East in search of the Christ-Child. Some say that these men were Astrologers, Seers, even fortune tellers and there is a mystery that surrounds them, but the one thing we are sure of is that they brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. This visit to the Child is known as the Epiphany, the manifestation, the showing of Christ to the world.
The church has a tradition, which we use at St Hilda’s of using chalk on the entrance to our homes to scribe the initials C+B+M which means ‘God bless this house’ (Christus bendicat mansionem). No one knows the names of the Wise men, but tradition grew around the Latin phrase above that their names were Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior and they stuck!
We show Christ to the world by the way we live, the love we show, through our prayers and, not least through our smile. Pray for peace, the peace Jesus came to bring a peace that is in the heart of men, women, and children where the gifts we have can be shared and where fear has no place.
Peace be with you, and God bless you all.
Reverend Fr. Ronald Croft