Going forth into 2007.jpg

Going forth into 2007

By: Margaret Brown

Email: margaret.brown@portugalresident.com

ANOTHER CHRISTMAS has passed and, while for some people it was a secular diversion, others concentrated on the religious side of things as well and had the best of both worlds.

At home, the tree and decorations gather dust until Twelfth Night. The previous weeks of anticipation and prayer in Luz Church, the growing light of the Advent wreath and singing of choir and congregations are just a memory. The Christ Child’s nativity has been celebrated as befits a King and New Year revels are over for another 12 months.

At around this time, over 2,000 years ago, in Judea, Mary, Joseph and the Child went to the temple in Jerusalem and, on the eighth day, presented Jesus to the Lord: there, his divine nature was first revealed to Jew and Gentile alike. Known as The Feast of the Epiphany, which falls on January 6, it will be celebrated on Sunday. No Biblical records show the exact dates of these occurrences and modern acceptance has been reached after centuries of dispute.

It matters not, because the Child became the Man – who taught all who would listen the ways of peace and love – he suffered for our sins and died for us, that we might have eternal life if only we believe.

Now we look forward with hope to the year ahead. Resolutions made may last a year or only a few days, but any time spent examining our inner-self is a step in the right direction. As we cross the troubled threshold into 2007, take courage and go with the words of Louise Haskins:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown” and he replied “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.