New Year at the Bandstand

This morning was our start to the new year. Julie began by sharing an Epiphany meditation:


“Jesus, you are the light of the world. In your holiness and your earthliness, you display the truth about who God is and God’s desire to be present with us. You open our eyes, ears and hearts to the ways in which you continue to reveal yourself to us today—through word , communion,  creation, and through the relationship we have with others. By your light, may we truly see. Amen.


Over and over in the gospels, the majesty and truth of God with us, Immanuel, is made known, mostly in small moments with everyday people.

Jesus is taken  to the temple, and Simeon and Anna proclaim his divinity.
As a child, Jesus reads the Torah and explains it to those listening
Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana.
He gathers a handful of the ordinary and the unlikely and calls them to follow him.
Jesus heals.
He feeds crowds.
Then, in front of just three of his closest friends, Jesus meets on a mountaintop with Moses and Elijah and is transfigured right before their eyes.

There are so many more moments that could be named and counted, each revealing just a little more of Jesus’ ability to meet people right where they are. No big production, just humble, real,  encounters that provide hope to all.


We believe in a living God, the revelation of Jesus is not over and done in this world but continues. . Where do you need Jesus to show up? And what do you need from him in that space? This week have a go at writing a prayer, asking to be open to new revelations God and how God is at work in our world.

These thoughts were inspired by words from a reflection on Ephiphany written but Amanda Berger

Jeremy read the following poem:

Winter Now – Samuel Longfellow

‘Tis winter now; the fallen snow
Has left the heav’ns all coldly clear.
Through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
And all the earth lies dead and drear;

And yet God’s love is not withdrawn:
His life within the keen air breathes;
His beauty paints the crimson dawn,
And clothes the boughs with glitt’ring wreaths.

And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
And skies are chill and frosts are keen,
Home closer draws her circle now,
And warmer glows her light within.

O God, Who gives the winter’s cold,
As well as summer’s joyous rays,
Us warmly in Thy love enfold,
And keep us through life’s wint’ry days.

And Fiona W shared this poem:

New Every Morning – Susan Coolidge

Every morn is the world made new.
You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
Here is a beautiful hope for you,—
A hope for me and a hope for you.

All the past things are past and over;
The tasks are done and the tears are shed.
Yesterday’s errors let yesterday cover;
Yesterday’s wounds, which smarted and bled,
Are healed with the healing which night has shed.

Yesterday now is a part of forever,
Bound up in a sheaf, which God holds tight,
With glad days, and sad days, and bad days, which never
Shall visit us more with their bloom and their blight,
Their fulness of sunshine or sorrowful night.

Let them go, since we cannot re-live them,
Cannot undo and cannot atone;
God in his mercy receive, forgive them!
Only the new days are our own;
To-day is ours, and to-day alone.

Here are the skies all burnished brightly,
Here is the spent earth all re-born,
Here are the tired limbs springing lightly
To face the sun and to share with the morn
In the chrism of dew and the cool of dawn.

Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted and possible pain,
Take heart with the day, and begin again.

Then we walked with words from Romans 8:18-end (From The Message) as we reflected on those in relation to the year ahead. We returned to burn our luggage labels, with our prayers, that had been attached to the shepherd’s crook last year and wrote new prayers for the things most important to us in the year ahead. They will hang over a doorway at Holly House, keeping our prayers always present there till next year.

Steve B led us, then, in the sharing of bread and wine before we headed to Ostello Lounge for much needed hot drinks! Chilly at the bandstand but a good time together!