THE CENTRE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER – March
The months in 2019 continue to fly by and we are now in the month of March – daffodil time! Many are already beginning to show and when there is a field of daffodils, what a wonderful sight it is with that vivid yellow and light. The snowdrops are also in abundance with their beautiful white bell-shaped flowers, white symbolising purity.
In February some of the churches in Dorking (and elsewhere) celebrated ‘Candlemas’ which was when the baby boy Jesus was presented in the Temple as was the Jewish custom. It is written in the law of the Lord ‘every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’ and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the law of the Lord; ‘a pair of doves and two young pigeons’ (Luke 2 v 21).
Now a man called Simeon who came from Jerusalem had the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died. Moved by the Spirit he went into the temple courts and there Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to him and he took Jesus into his arms. Simeon the said that his eyes had seen the Lord’s salvation which is a light for revelation to the Gentiles (and us) and for the glory to your people Israel (based on Luke 2 v 25-32).
So we move on to take a new look at the subject of ‘Light’, thinking of Candlemas and candles. A lighted candle is, in itself, is a prayer: a sign of God’s presence and light in darkness. A lighted candle represents your prayers for your needs and hopes. It could be for yourself, or for a loved one or for a difficult situation in your life or in the world generally. A lighted candle is a sign of hope for those whom you pray that they will know God’s comfort, his courage and his presence shining into your darkness today and always (based on a book mark from Wimbourne Minister).
We can experience and know the love of God in our lives. He loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Let us be assured and encouraged that nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (based on Romans 8 v 39b).
Christ Jesus was made in the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1 v 27). It is important to remember we too are created in the image of the invisible God as we live our daily lives. Is this true of us as we talk to people, speak with our friends or work colleagues or at church. We should be constantly challenged to live ‘Christ- like’ lives.
God can also be our guide. In Psalm 49 v 14 ……he (God) will be our guide for ever to the end. Do we turn to God for guidance regarding the big decisions we have to make in life e.g. moving house, getting married or taking on a new job? He can also guide us in the day to day tasks we have to undertake just in order to exist, so do we ask Him for help and guidance for these tasks?
God is holy. 2 Peter 3 v 11 quotes “You ought to live holy and godly lives”. We too should learn to be holy. “Be holy because I am holy” (1 Peter 1 v 16).
Truth – One of the famous ‘I Am’s’ of Jesus is “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me (John 14 v 6).
So we are to be a light to this fallen world, especially as we see the complex, heart rending, sad and difficult circumstances or situations around us every day. Take courage, be bold and shine out for your Saviour Jesus in all that you do or say.
The Listening Course (17th January to 14th February)
The course has drawn to a close as I write this month’s Chaplain’s Corner. A regular eight or nine people have attended the course each week and we have been endeavouring to enhance our listening skills. To be a good ‘listener’ is to be ‘silent’ in the majority of instances. It is a privilege to be a ‘listening ear’ for someone who may want to unburden themselves or just want to share a story. We have looked at ‘Listening styles’, thought about our ‘Ivory Towers’ e.g. ‘I’m not in the mood tower’ or ‘Not them again tower’ and also as listeners that we should be a ‘doorway’ for people not a ‘doormat’. Thank you to all the attendees who have so willingly contributed to the course, because those contributions have been invaluable towards making the course hopefully helpful and useful for their own future lives. If anyone is interested in becoming a ‘Listener’ in The Christian Centre do contact me for details about this important service in the Centre.
Lent commences on the 6th March and The Churches Together in Dorking (CTD) are going to be studying a book entitled ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ by Paula Gooder. A number of small groups from the different Dorking churches will be undertaking these studies at the same time. Saturday morning sessions (with breakfast I believe!) are planned to take place at The Christian Centre but please watch out for further information regarding where other Lent Sessions are going to be held.
A Sad Note
Ann Higgs sustained a major stroke a few days ago and she went to be with her Lord whom she loved and served, on Wednesday afternoon (13/02/19). Ann frequented The Christian Centre often and participated in the Tuesday morning ‘chair exercises’. She will be sadly missed and we remember her family in their grief.
May God bless you this month and especially as we prepare ourselves for Easter.
Rowan Nunnerley (Centre Chaplain)
Contact details: 01306 886830 or 07706 041339