The Digest is our monthly magazine which can be purchased from the church, or if you live locally a copy can be delivered to you each month – please contact Judith Betts on 07753 613433 for more details.
Our Lay Minister, Trudie Jackson writes………
I love the Autumn, the crunchy leaves falling from trees, now clothed in hues of red and gold. The sharp freshness of the early morning that turns, as the sun comes up, into a pleasant warmth. Putting on the woolies ready for a walk in the woods and passing under the stately sycamores and oaks, as they slowly fall into their winter sleep. Checking on the sloe bushes in the park to see if they are ready to harvest and put to steep in gin for a Christmas treat. But autumn can also be melancholy, as the brightness and excitement of summer passes and the nights get longer, and the skies turn grey.
We have just passed the Autumn Equinox on September 29th. When Christianity came to Britain, the Pagan festivals held on this day were repurposed and the feast of St Michael and All Angels was celebrated on the Equinox instead. This was Michaelmas and was the time that contracts were finalised, University terms began, and servants hired. As St Michael was the angelic protector against dark and evil forces his protection at this time when the dark begins to draw in, dampening the sprits was seen as very important.
In the past when the only light was candles or rush lights, dark was dark, something we cannot really appreciate in a world where we only have to flick a switch or turn on a torch and we have light. It was easy then to imagine that evil lurked in the shadows. Even today, as the winter descends we can feel down and sad and that the world is closing in.
After the crucifixion the disciples were devastated and felt as if night had fallen and winter had come and would never go again. They were lost and miserable, feeling that the end of the world had come. Nothing was further from the truth and when Jesus came back to them for a while life was good again. Then He had to leave them again and their lives would be tough as they spread the work about Him. But they now knew that however hard life would be, He had promised them a life with him when their lives on this world ended.
That promise is still in force today for those who believe In Jesus Christ. However hard things get, whatever life throws at us, Jesus has made it possible for us to look forward to the life everlasting when the time allotted to us on this earth ends. It is a promise we can hold fast to when times are tough, winter is coming but so is the spring!