Recently I read the advice of a monk. He said: “Try and imagine what it would be like if you could live each day as a new beginning, full of promise, full of opportunity. If you could do that”, he said, “you might well find yourself starting each day full of enthusiasm for what it might have in store for you.”
If you’re anything like me, that takes quite a lot of imagination!
Each morning I’m more likely to go through what I have planned, see what is in the diary, identify the things I must do today and can’t put off any longer.
The monk who gave that advice went on to say the reason we find it difficult to view each new day with excitement is because we live bogged down by too much of our past.
Our past becomes longer and longer each year – can’t argue with that! – and so we say to ourselves, ‘I’ve seen it all before; the future won’t be much different from the past’, be it the past year, last week or yesterday.
I remember one day when I was at school, riding home on my bike with a friend. He said, ‘It’s Wednesday, that means it’s shepherd’s pie for lunch.’ That surprised me. But aren’t our lives often as predictable as that?
Of course we have to make plans. Ordinary things like what to eat today, how to make time to visit a sick friend; all the things that have to be done to make family life run smoothly.
But we must also be prepared for the unexpected.
By now Christmas may seem a long way away. But there is one part of the Christmas story we remember each year at the beginning of February.
It tells how 40 days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph took him to the Temple in Jerusalem. There they met two elderly people who believed that one day God would show them something wonderful.
They were content to wait for that to happen. And one day they saw Jesus and recognised him for who he is.
Because they waited, they saw a wonderful new beginning – not just for them but for all mankind.
So maybe that proves there is wisdom in the monk’s advice: to try and see each day as it begins as a day full of promise, a day in which God will give me whatever he knows he wants to give. And be ready to be excited!
Fr Roger Caswell
Team Rector and Vicar of St Mary’s
• A welcome from Littlehampton Baptist Church’s new reverend •
Let me introduce myself, I am Rev Martin Seymour and I have answered the call and invitation to the pastorate at Littlehampton Baptist Church. I officially begin my ministry here on February 1 with an induction service on February 25.
I am here with my wife, Jose, and our little dog Bayley. Our first week in Littlehampton was a busy one. Moving into our temporary accommodation on Friday, December 2, the first service we attended was on the 4th.
We helped to host the Nativity service of the Alpha Preschool on the 5th, as well as helping to host the Peter Pan pantomime on the 10th, then trying to find where my wife has tidied away everything in our temporary new home, has all been challenging, busy and enjoyable.
Meeting and making new friends, finding our way around Littlehampton and surrounding area, networking and listening to people sharing and advising has all been the reason why we moved to Littlehampton before taking a holiday in Australia at the end of 2016, returning yesterday ready to take up the post of Pastor on Wednesday.
We have a daughter and a son – our daughter lives in this country and our son lives in Australia.
We have four grandchildren who are all more grown up than we are.
To be a part of LBC’s Passion and to know, live out and share in the power of the Holy Spirit – God’s message that Jesus is Lord – is an exciting prospect.
Having listened to and taken joy and encouragement from the activities and buzz of the LBC crowd, I am sure 2017 is going to be an exciting, blessed and awesome year of service for us all. To be around the town and the church through Advent has been a blessed time and a good thing to do.
To our Brothers and Sisters in neighbouring churches, to our new friends and those whom we are yet to meet, to those who have just stumbled onto our website, to you all, my wife and I want to bless you all with the love of Jesus as we look forward to being among you and with you all.
Revd Martin Seymour
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