Why the 1st of January Changed For Me
I think I have never really liked the 1st of January mainly because to my mind it’s always cold, damp and miserable. You look out the window and the street is as silent as a cemetery apart from the odd party reveller returning home.
It’s pointless putting on the television because it’s usually the same old movies, and of course an extended version of the television game ‘Pointless’ which only adds to the depression that you feel could settle in upon your thoughts, if you were to linger too long looking out of the window or trying to find a pointless answer.
Now don’t get me wrong the feeling only lasts for a few minutes but it is there most years; except for 2017 something changed. The phone rang it was about 2.00am in the morning. It was Iain my son-in-law to say that Sarah Jane was in labour, and could we get over as quickly as possible to their house to look after Sophia. Suddenly, everything changed! The grey streets of a damp Glasgow 1st of January morning didn’t look so grey — simply because Imogen Grace our second grandchild had been born. I guess I’m borrowing a phrase from last month’s theme, when I say everything changed when Grace came into town. For me it was literally true!
I share this story because it’s people and events that kind of change the environment we flourish in. Too often we in Scotland allow the cold damp days of winter to affect our moods and in doing so we can be robbed of the hidden treasures that are found in building upon our relationships.
We can be the change makers by making the first move to build upon a relationship. I think there is a contagious goodness released by being the one who offers to help before being asked. Or the one who invites another to join a group or go for a coffee.
It sort of empowers others to follow. We are told in scripture, that that is actually what God does, at least according to Isaiah 65: 24. He reminds us of a God who says, “Before you call I will answer and while you are still praying I will hear.”
Something that has always intrigued me is the amazing deep and lasting friendships that have started out of going to church. But I must confess what intrigues me even more is that there are not more of these kind of relationships around in the church today. Don’t get me wrong people can be friendly but are we building friendships?
The Church Without Walls report talked about a church being shaped by friendship in order to grow and mature in grace. If in all our thinking about being radical in our future planning we omit to see the significance of Christian fellowship and friendship then we will fail. Fellowship is what grows a church family. Church leaders who model friendship discover that many within the congregation take their lead from their examples of generosity and hospitality.
So how can we grow friendships within the community of Sanctuary First? You will notice that we have been trying to promote the idea of regular users of Sanctuary First offering to host a small Connect Group in a home or a local cafe. If this would interest you please get in touch with us. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We are also experimenting with the weekly 9pm review going out each Friday evening as a live broadcast on Facebook and then appearing on the Sanctuary First website under recorded live events. This is an idea we would love to develop further because it seems to be sparking genuine interest and comment.
So if you have thoughts about how we can build deeper and more lasting friendships among the Sanctuary First Community we would love to hear from you. After all hearing and responding is all part of this week’s theme.