View from the Pew

My life is somewhat dominated by Christmas Trees in December (as I write) and its hard to see the wood for the . . .oh no, not even I can use that joke.

This year to add a little variety we have “the builders” on site. You know what it’s like when you decorate a room and have to move all the furniture? Well we’ve had to clear two rooms, one of which is my office.

It’s made me realize how that one room has become a sort of nest for me. There’s my beloved iMac for a start, I am one of those strange people who really love their computer.   I have a collection of paintings on the wall, done by a friend, which are of fields of oilseed rape and poppies. I have a collection of framed photographs of those I love. In truth it’s become a little sanctum for me in all the business that the whole year brings. So it’s been very strange moving it all to a different part of the house. It’s broken the pattern of my days.

We are comforted by patterns and traditions perhaps, I know I am. We feel safe within a framework or a room.  We can also feel great comfort in the pattern and traditions of our faith. In the traditions of the church year even.

In January we Methodists have our covenant service where we once again dedicate ourselves to Gods service. There are some beautiful words within it that are a real comfort, but it is also at times the most uncomfortable service of the year.

We actually ask God to shake us up, put us to what he wants and not what we want. Make us rich or poor according to His will. They aren’t words we can say easily or at all some years! We invite God to take us out of our comfort zone. Then pray we can discern what it is He does want for us.

What the service really asks for is our willingness. For us to be open to change, open to other ideas and patterns, open to all who need help. A new year shake-up in our lives perhaps.

Whatever your Christmas has brought with it’s old patterns and traditions, we turn now to the new year and all that it holds. I pray that you will find comfort in the familiar but also embrace all the new and exciting possibilities that 2018 can bring – if only we are open enough!

Carol Hoyes