2017. How can that be? Surely it is only three years since the millennium celebrations? It ought to be the case that time slows down as we get older but it just runs faster and faster. If you blink you miss another year. Or a decade.
As you can see I’m a bit obsessed with time at the moment because 2017 is the year in which I turn 65. I know. I can’t believe it either. But there it is. And so, before my knees give way completely, I am going to retire. I’ll be saying more about that at another time. Easter Sunday will be my final service: just a touch over five years since I arrived in Whissendine. (Can’t believe that either.) Then a farewell service with all the Oakham team here at St. Andrews on April 30th. I do hope you’ll manage to come to one of those services!
And in the world out there beyond Rutland we can’t begin to guess what 2017 will hold. Donald Trump as United States President; a certain escalation of conflict in the Middle East, Brexit negotiations. As I write this unspeakable atrocities are taking place in Aleppo. When we celebrated the millennium we surely didn’t imagine the world might look like this. Some of the familiar traditional carols were very hard to sing this year, speaking as they do, of a world of peace and plenty.
And yet. The Christian message is not – despite ‘away in a manger’ – one of anodyne sweetness: there is the constant conflict between what is now and what will be. As Christians we are called to work for a day when the ‘earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.’ Some hope. No, really. Truly. Not madly. Happy New Year.
The Revd Janet Tebby
Have you been thinking about faith and what it’s all about? Maybe you’d like to explore a bit more, and discuss those nagging questions you (and all of us) have? We have a group at St Andrew’s church which meets occasionally to do just that – why don’t you come along? Contact Hilary Maunders 474349 or Jane Beynon 474882 for more information.