Welcome to 2024 … Anno Domini!
After the usual cluster of Bank Holidays, the tail-end of school holidays, and the travel chaos of all other holidays, AD2024 is under way.
I would like to think that this year will be a year of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love for all of you.
Up and down our valley, across our villages and hamlets, things are settling into the ‘usual’ routines. Jobs to do, people to see, places to go … holidays to plan!
I would like to take this chance to remind you of the origin of the word holiday – a Holy Day! A day set apart from the ‘usual’, mundane things of life to re-charge ourselves physically, mentally, and (most important of all) spiritually! I know that for many of you the annual holiday is a vital part of your year. Something to look forward to. Something different from the ‘norm’. Something to relax or stretch you. Something you can treasure as you look back.
As many of you have realised, I’m not always very PC! Academics and others now refer to CE instead of AD – Common Era as opposed to Anno Domini (the Year of the Lord). We ended 2023 celebrating the Birth of Christ. An event which defines so much for us, whether we know it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we’d rather ignore it, or not.
In seasonal terms, Christmas Day is the first day after Mid-winter’s day – the first longer day!
In calendar terms, Boxing Day is the old St Stephen’s Day. He was the first Christian Martyr – he died for His faith as many still do today!
Here in Scotland we also devote two whole Bank Holidays to the change of calendar year. This shows how important it is to us to mark the movement of time, the fresh opportunities on offer as the Winter sets in yet the sun rises higher and higher in the sky.
If we are to make the most of those opportunities we need to do more than just mark the occasional seasonal or calendar dates. We need to make every day a Holy Day – not by staying away from paid work or domestic chores, but by including Jesus Christ the epoch-changer in our lives. We need to seek the refreshment we need, body and soul. Not separate from the ‘usual’ life, but in the midst of it!
Jesus is not just for Christmas or the turn of the year. He is for every day. For the everyday. For the common things as well as the special events.
However Common Era you think your year may be, why not make it the Year of the Lord?
Join us to find out more …
May God Bless you in the year ahead.