CS Lewis called this time of year "The waiting-room of the year". The lights and tinsel of Christmas are packed away for another year, but the nights are still long and dark, and the days are cold and quite often dull. This year especially, with the third national lockdown in place, it's proving to be a tough time for many of us.
Yet even if we have a long wait, we don't stay in the waiting room forever, it is only a stage on the journey to offer a bit of comfort en route to our destination. In the midst of the anxiety about the new strain of the virus is the news that the vaccines are being rolled out. Just this past week, two members of my family have had their first doses of the vaccines, so there are grounds for optimism, and the big family get-together we have been hoping for since last Easter may finally be a couple of steps closer.
Not that we'll be having the get together until it is safe to do so, and I'm sure that many of you are wishing you could have those dear to you call round for a cuppa and a long-overdue catch-up. The day will come, but it is not here yet.
I have referred before to our church buildings being closed as feeling as if we are in exile. When the Israelites were in exile in Babylon, they asked "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Services which have been able to take place over recent months, and those which take place when we re-open again after lockdown have felt and will feel as if we are in a strange land. Yet we can still sing the Lord's song, even if we cannot physically sing during communal worship in the way we have been used to for so many years.
The writer of the book of Lamentations, a book which for the most part does exactly what its title says, offers a wonderful ray of hope when they write "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning."
May the Lord's mercies be ours every new morning.
Keep well and stay safe.
With my love and prayers
REMINDER for Church Council Members: the next meeting of Church Council will be on Tuesday at 7.30pm by Zoom.
The Chapel notecards with artwork by Sarah Parton are still available direct from Julia; phone 01270 811761 or 07950 774997 at a price of £5 for 1 pack or £9 for two packs. All proceeds to church funds.
If there are any items or notes you would like to be included in the next newsletter please either telephone Janet Furber on 01270 811598 or send by email to email@example.com
Interesting thoughts taken from Nantwich's newsletter
* What if my dog only brings back the ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
* If poison is past its expiry date, is it more poisonous or no longer poisonous?
* Which letter is silent in the word 'scent' – the S or the C ?
* Do twins ever realise that one of them is unplanned?
* Why is the letter W, in English, called 'double U'? Shouldn't it be called 'double V'? (As in French)
* Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
* Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.
* The word 'swims' up-side-down is still 'swims'.
* Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.
* 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has a car and only the rich own horses.
* Your future self is watching you right now through memories.
* If you replace 'W' with 'T' in 'What?', 'Where?' and 'When?', you get the answer to each of them.
* Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.
* If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before.
* Anything said up to the word 'but' is often pointless.
It's a Funny old world:
In peacetime if you try to kill someone you'll go to prison – in World War I & II, if you refused to try to kill someone you could be sent to prison.
In normal times walk into a bank with a mask on you'll be arrested. In times of pandemic walk into a bank without a mask on....
"There are decades when nothing seems to happen, then days when decades seem to happen." (Vladimir Lenin).
Adam & Eve were the first people to not read the Apple terms and conditions.
My going-out clothes have missed me so much: I put them on yesterday and they hugged me so tightly I couldn't move!
The Methodist Church free phone service for news and prayer. The news option looks around the Connection at what's happening and the prayer line is a prayer from particular Methodists.
Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
Listen to news: 0808 281 2478 Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening.
The 'Daily Hopeline' call 0800 804 8044
Archbishop Justin Welby answers your call with a short message followed by a choice of options:
Press 1 to listen to hymns we love with a series of short talks based on the well loved hymn.
Press 2 to listen to a different daily hymn.
Press 3 for the Prayers which are specific for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Press 4 to hear options 5 to 7:
Press 5 to hear a Church of England weekly Service.
Press 6 to join in with traditional Morning and Evening Prayers.
Press 7 to hear the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic.
Press 0 to hear the first menu.