Yesterday, today and for ever
Bishop Joanna takes comfort in the Light of the World and the power of prayer
Brexit and Covid-19 mean our “new normal” shifts from day to day and week to week. What remains stable is God’s love for us in Christ: the light shining in the darkness.
These times of grief, pain and uncertainty have reminded us of how dark our world can be. God calls us to remember the questions which we or our Godparents answered at our baptism. “Do you turn to Christ?”
Our faith in Jesus is not just for the times when we are content, well fed and secure. There is never a time, when every nation and every individual is content, well fed and secure. God always beholds a world in pain and difficulty alongside a world of joy and contentment. In this difficult time for us, even those who are healthy and financially secure are experiencing fear and anxiety. These dark times face us with the darkness of our world that we do not always see. “Do you turn to Christ?”
Over the last three years, our diocese has undergone a huge restructuring. Learning to work as LMAs will take time, but now the organisational structures are in place, we can start once more to put our common focus on living our faith in Christ together.
In the next three years, as we set out together to live out our baptismal vows, we shall have three diocesan foci.
- This Advent (2020), we are setting out on a journey of deepening our prayer life, individually and corporately;
- Prayer nurtures us for our journey of discipleship: that will be our focus from Advent 2021;
- Practising prayer and discipleship enables us to set out, from Advent 2022, on a year of pilgrimage.
In 2022, I shall set out on a physical – circular - pilgrimage from St Davids and back to St Davids, stopping along the way, not just at our ancient sites of pilgrimage and prayer, where the prayer and discipleship of those who have gone before us still leave their mark, but stopping also at places where the life of Jesus is made real today. Jesus is the light who shines in the darkness, the light whom darkness cannot overcome.
I am asking you to turn to Christ, to learn to pray, then, as disciples together, to set out, as pilgrims, to meet Jesus in the stones of the past and the people of the present.