Newness.

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I’ve always loved the balance between light and dark during a Sunset. There’s something so enchanting about all the colour that lies behind the silhouetted figures. Its also the promise of something new that I think is so reassuring. The sun will set and there will always be a new day.

As we’ve moved into a new calendar year, we have also moved into a new term at Westcott. Everything feels very settled now, and I’m glad to be back at college with my fellow ordinands. It seems that everyone has had a good restful break, and I’ve felt the immediate benefit of having the Chapel back in the normal routine.

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I arrived back in college a week before term. I had all sorts of placmenty things to do.  I’m still on ‘attachment’ at Little St Marys, which has been such a blessing.  Somehow I’ve managed to avoid serving during my first term on attachment, so this Sunday I found myself serving at both services.

I sat in awe of this years crib. (The photo doesn’t do it justice.) Well crafted, with it being situated infront of the Tabernacle. It spoke so much to me about the Incarnation. And these beautiful gold threads just hanging over the manger as if to give hints of how God’s presence would have hung in the air. It was just beautiful. As Advent finished and we’ve moved into Christmastide (?), its really got me thinking about the symbols and art we use. Especially because I did Advent Illustrated, its just made me think about my art and how that feeds me spiritually.

Starting a new journal (Which I did on the first) always ‘sets me back’ a little. I begin that whole process of allowing myself to use the new book. Processed with VSCO with f2 presetDespite this, I am really enjoying the new challenge I set myself of writing down something I am thankful for everyday. I had a really good time with my boardgames friends over the weekend, and I think I can sometimes take those things for granted. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what a blessing these things are. By being away from stuff, we learn to appreciate it all over again. Like starting again with my journal, it’s like a new chance to start over and appreciate the gifts it is giving me. This too is also true of the incarnation, each year we get to receive that gift all over again.

This doesn’t mean that we should just allow ourselves to fail just because we know we are covered by grace. Like looking after flowers, we get as much out of it as we put in. If we tenderly look after our relationship with God then we will be rewarded with the beauty of God springing up in our lives.

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by Rev Ally Barrett

Today was the feast of the Epiphany, were the Magi meet the incarnate God for the first time. I cant even imagine what it would have been like to come face to face with God in the form of a baby. It still amazes me that God came into the world as something so innocent and pure, and even those Magi with all of their wealth realised that meant nothing.

After mass this evening, where the Epiphany chalk was blessed, we gathered as ‘staircasemates’ and did the blessing together. It was dark so we couldn’t really see- someone got a torch, and none of us really knew what we were doing. It just felt like such a holy moment. There was laughter as we struggled to work out what needed to be written first, but God was there. He was there in the rededication of our ‘home’ and in each one of us as we have seen the face of God in a manager.

This season is all about ‘refinding’ our blessings, or even finding them for the first time. I hope that whatever those blessings are that we remain thankful and remembering the source of all of them. God who came to us as a babe, who even the Magi adored.

With prayers, peace and joy this Epiphany.

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