In the bleak mid-winter
As we move on into January we leave all the celebrations and bright lights of Christmas behind. It always feels like an icy blast of reality when we have to pack away the decorations once more and settle down into the coldest months of the year doesn’t it? The words of a traditional carol come to mind; “In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan; earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. I wonder when it was that the broads last froze over? The start of 2021may be a difficult time as the struggle to keep each other safe and reduce the spread of Covid 19 as we await vaccination. But it’s not all bad news, as there are several things to look forward to this January. Firstly, Revd Ian Bloomfield is beginning his ministry as the local leader at Wroxham and Hoveton, which I am sure you are all looking forward to with great anticipation. Please remember him and his family in your prayers. Second is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – and we still need to keep on praying and working towards unity in the mission of Christ.
Third is the arrival of the magi. They so often get wrapped up in the manger scene, but they actually visited Jesus well after His birth, which is why we celebrate their arrival at Epiphany. And this brings me back to “In the bleak mid-winter”.
The lyrics movingly ask – what can we bring? I don’t suppose any of us can afford treasure, but the most important gift we can offer is there in the very last line of that poem by Christina Rosetti; “Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.” Perhaps something we can all aim for in 2021?
For two thousand years people have been fascinated by the person of Jesus. He has inspired ordinary individuals and leaders of empires. He has been interpreted, followed, argued over and worshipped all over the world. Even our calendar is organised around his birth.