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  • Writer's pictureRev Claire

3rd January - New Year Searching


Welcome to our service today, and happy new year! It is a strange happy new year - things are not starting particularly happy, but there is light ahead, and there is better to come. Keep walking, keep holding on, keep doing all the things you need to do to look after yourselves and those around you, and when the better things come, we will embrace them with joy. Today's service is an all age service and has activities for all the family as together we walk into 2021.


After our service today we will be meeting on zoom for coffee and cake at 12.15pm. The link is here


We are not re-opening in person until the rates come down and we feel it is safe to meet. We will continue to meet online and re-evaluate towards the end of January. If you need support or help during this time, please get in touch.


Tomorrow (Monday 4th January) we sadly say goodbye to our sister, Angela, who died on the 8th December. We will miss her very much. The service is at 3pm at Croydon Crematorium. Due to restrictions the numbers are limited to close family and friends, however, we will be videoing the service and will share the link with our church family afterwards. Please pray for Angela's family as they prepare to say goodbye.


Worship


This is what the Lord says


'Stand at the crossroads and look;

ask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

and you will find rest for your souls' Jeremiah 6:16


Songs for worship - you may want to save a couple for towards the end - click on the link below



Searching


This Sunday is Epiphany. On Epiphany Sunday we remember the Wise Men's journey to visit Jesus - how they followed the star as the searched for Jesus and their role in the story as we come to realise through their encounter with Jesus that his reach is to the whole world - his birth has made an impact worldwide.


Perhaps this year we might understand a little bit more the Wise Men's searching. They were searching for answers to the big questions of the day, looking to the stars to the guide them. Today we might search in different ways but we still are searching for answers to the big questions of the day. Watch this video and you'll see what the world searched for in 2020.



What have you been searching for? What are the questions you want to find the answer to as we move into 2021? Perhaps you might want to write them down and stick them up - bring your questions to God in prayer and ask him to show you the way to the answers in the coming weeks and months. As you go through the year you then might want to re-visit your questions and write down what God might be saying to you about them.


Watch the story of the wise men from Matthew 12:1-12




Claire reflects on this passage - there is a make in the middle of the video which is a star - Claire makes hers with card and foil. If you don't fancy that and have access to a printer, there is one to colour in here or you might want to find the equipment to make your own design of star (or you could just draw one on a piece of paper)





Blessing


As we look to God we look to him to bless us and keep us and protect us. A good way to start the new year is to pray a prayer of blessing over our families and households as we continue on our journey. Traditionally at Epiphany you would take down your Christmas decorations as you set out into the new year.


One tradition that some churches have been taking up in the last few years at Epiphany is to mark their homes and church buildings as places of God's blessing and presence - chalking over the doorway symbols that remind us of God's guidance and provision. You can find more about that here, and if you have chalk you might want to follow the instructions. Otherwise you might just want to stand a your door and pray that God will protect you and your household.


In this video Claire prays the prayer of blessing from the link above - you might want to take the video to your door as she prays. May this be a blessing to you as you walk into the new year.





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