Moston Methodist Church

Minister – Rev Sharon Read

POSTED ON: 1 January 2021

Letter from our Minister 01/01/2021

Friday 1st January 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


2021 is here. 2020 was a year that will be talked about in history in years to come and all of us have stories to share. Stories of joy and sorrow, new life and death, love and hope, stories of faith, stories of new and renewed friendships. A New Year always marks a fresh start, a new beginning and yet we wait to hear the latest of Covid19 restrictions with the hope of a better year. Maybe you have taken the opportunity to make some resolutions. We choose to take up a New Year’s resolution because it will benefit us, they are positive steps in improving our life in one way or another, physically or mentally. But when in our looking ahead to the new and improved us do we consider our spirituality? That part of us that constantly searches for the meaning in life, the purpose for our existence, the ‘more and beyond’ than the present world can offer us, that connection with God…creator of the physical world we experience.


Advent maybe behind us but we should try to hang onto the periods of stillness and quiet that we tried to create in our waiting. Moments of pausing and reflecting on where we have seen God throughout the day, learning to recognise God’s actions in ourselves and others as well as how we are being blessed. (A huge thank you to those of you who attending Expectant waiting in Advent. Those times together kept me going through Advent as we paused, prayed and chatted through Lent.)

Spirituality is beyond our physical or material needs, it is a lifestyle that feeds our connectedness with God. A simple and effective way of engaging our spirituality is by praying the Daily Examen. Saint Ignatius of Loyola developed the practice of stopping and reflecting on the day, noticing where God has been, praising God and look forward to tomorrow. He believed that this was a gift from God that everyone should experience. If you would like to unwrap this gift post-Christmas, here is a brief guide…


Find a quiet place and sit comfortably

1. Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.
2. Review the day with gratitude. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—God is in the details.
3. Pay attention to your emotions. One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings?
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling— positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Pray about it.
Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude.
5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask God for help and understanding. Pray for hope.

St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. End the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude. Your life is a gift, and it is adorned with gifts from God.’ www.ignatianspirituality.com

If you prefer to be guided through the Daily Examen then there are several Apps available to download.

Joyful January 2021

What does joy mean for you? How have you sensed joy in your Christian journey? Do you have a story to share? We would love to hear your story in our Sunday morning services. Please get in touch with me and I will include you. There are 4 weeks and 5 Sundays in January and I am sure we have lots to give testimony too. We may not feel like celebrating throughout this Coronavirus pandemic so let us build each other up through January. 1 Thessalonians 5 says, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’


Stay safe. Stay well. Hold each other in prayer. I look forward to seeing you on our zoom service and events.


Love and prayers,
Sharon

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