The month of May is book-ended, as it were, by two notable festivals in the Church calendar. On 1st May, we remember “Philip and James, Apostles” and on 31st May we celebrate “The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth”.
Philip and James were two of Jesus’ early followers and both are significant in the New Testament. The collect (or special prayer) for their day includes the words: “Teach us…..to follow the steps of your holy apostles Philip and James, and walk steadfastly in the way that leads to your glory….”
The collect for the latter festival includes this: “Mighty God, by whose grace Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary….. [may we] magnify your holy name and rejoice to acclaim her Son our Saviour….”
It seems to me that the latter prayer encourages us to worship God in the moment; while the former challenges us to look beyond the present moment and commit ourselves to dedicating our every future action to God.
I think that’s what we need to try to do as Christians: receive each moment and each day as a gift while also taking the long view and trusting God for all that lies ahead, as we journey on our way home to God.
Brenda and I will be leaving Norbury at the start of May. As we begin our new chapter, we’ll endeavour to “rejoice to acclaim our Saviour” day by day and “walk steadfastly in the way that leads to glory”. We’ll continue to pray for you all in your own worship and discipleship day by day and through the years ahead. We will pray that you’ll have much to rejoice in, in these present days and in all the days to come. We’ll do so confident that there will be much to celebrate, and that God will be honoured greatly by this wonderful church.
Thank you once again for all you’ve given to us in our time at Norbury. These have been very special years for us, and we are so grateful for all your love, support and friendship. We’ve been greatly blessed and will take so many happy memories with us.
May God bless you all richly.