January 2022

At the end of one year and the beginning of another it is sometimes good to take time and reflect on what has gone by the past twelve months and what our hopes are for the coming twelve. As we began 2021 we knew that we were highly likely to be in for another lockdown, and so we were from the 4th January, but it was all a little more hopeful that March 2020, as the vaccines were beginning to be rolled out. What a rollercoaster of a year 2021 has been…. Just as we were beginning to feel that life was slowly getting back towards normal, we were hit with the Delta variant and now we are facing all the possibilities of what the Omicron variant brings.

Life constantly presents us with risks that we assess, often without realising it. Some actions become second nature, like looking both ways before crossing the road, washing our hands before eating a meal, or asking the dog owner whether their pooch is friendly, or not. Similarly, for me anyway, is the picking up a new face mask as I go out the door, putting it on when entering a shop or somewhere indoors, using the sanitising gel going in/out of shops (when it is provided) or using my own when it is not. Having said that there are some things that do need thinking about; assessing the risks to self and to others and I seem to have had a year and a half of doing just that with regard to the churches. I hope and pray that all we have continued to do will keep people safe when coming to worship at Belton or Burgh Castle; because it is the loving thing to do. I know that some people have been frustrated with mask-wearing, but it is the loving thing to do, just like taking a lateral flow test before going out to meet with others.

Just recently I read a “Note to Self” … which I share with you as we begin the new year of 2022.

“What is my purpose in life?” I asked.

“What if I told you that your fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to the child about her life? said the voice.

Or when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoe laces for him?”

Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-based achievements. God isn’t interested in your achievements . . . just your heart! When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further!”

At Christmas we might have shared a lot of love with our families and friends, but what of the rest of the year? Love came down at Christmas is an old carol that talks about angels and stars giving the sign, of Jesus being the sacred sign, and that love shall be our sign, our gift and our plea. With all that we have been through these past months, a little bit of kindness, compassion and love shared about during 2022 by each one of us, could make the difference to our quality of life in our village and community. Let’s choose to make a difference as we begin the new year, to be kind, compassionate and loving towards others, in the hope that your example will not just benefit others but also be an inspiration to others.

May God bless you with his peace and presence in 2022.