We have now reached the half-way point in the Christian calendar. From Advent Sunday at the beginning of December to Trinity Sunday in June, we have celebrated the major festivals of the Christian year. This 'front loading’ of festivals relating to the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus can leave us rather breathless in terms of absorbing and reflecting on their impact on our lives today. This is why those weeks of Advent and Lent, that we set aside for preparation before Christmas and Easter, are so essential.
As we move into the second half of the Christian calendar, we have the long span of time that we call die Trinity or 'green season' in which to take a step back and revisit some of the key stories, miracles and teaching of Jesus. Ifs a time for consolidation of all that we have experienced.
I always enjoy hearing the Gospel stories that are so familiar and yet always have something to teach us. A fresh look gives us a different view and offers deeper insight. I have also appreciated taking part in small group discussions because there is so much to learn from the other group members.
The interaction and sharing of views is richly rewarding and, of course, the group dynamic will direct the flow of movement. Some groups inevitably work better than others but I would suggest that meeting new people is a positive way to be opened up to different viewpoints.
At some stage in our parish life (sooner rather than later), some more small groups will hopefullybe established and will greatly add to our overall commitment to going a little deeper into our faith and belief, but in an accessible and enjoyable way. The added benefit is that we have an increased sense of 'belonging', of travelling together. How the group develops is down to the group members and, whilst there will be some suggested direction, the great thing is that it will work by responding to questions and exploration.
I have been aware for some time that there is a need for more teaching and discussion to help us on our individual journeys of faith. Over the less busy weeks of the summer, I hope that you will give this some thought and prayer. If we can factor in some time to offer to a small group, then we have the basis for personal growth and development of our faith.
Many of you will be planning holidays and looking forward to a break from routine. We need these times of refreshment to relax and enjoy but we can also do a little re-ordering for the future. It will be time well spent and with renewed energy we can look forward to new and exciting things to come. Have a happy holiday and, if you are not planning to be away, enjoy the garden and the countryside.