Yearning to fill the emptiness


JANUARY 6 marked the end of the 12 days of Christmas and was also the beginning of Epiphany.

It commemorates the arrival of the Magi (Three Wise Men) who were the first Gentiles to recognise infant Jesus as the incarnate Christ the King. They worshipped the child and went on their way having realised, together with Simeon the old bond servant, that He was “a light for revelation to the Gentiles”.

Not just for a select few but for people of every race and nation, and that remains the mission of the Church today: to foster Christian fellowship and heal divisions caused through bigotry and prejudice.

It seems we have a long way to go. After World War II, British social attitudes changed: partly as the result of a sense of anti-climax but also because, having endured six years of warfare in the armed forces or in civilian life, God had become secondary to personal survival.

Having survived despite His apparent absence, did we need Him any more?

Those whose faith had endured the evil that was abroad became the nucleus of Christian worship, hence a disproportionate number of old people in some of today’s congregations. Perhaps they are seen as a stumbling block, set in their ways and disapproving of change yet as they die off, who is going to take their place?

Only a realisation of the human need, present since pre-history and witnessed by ancient divine relics, may bring us back to our Christian roots.

There is a yearning to relate in human beings an emptiness filled through the giving and receiving of the love of a transcendent God.