Birth brings a promise…
On Sunday morning at Anniesland Methodist Church I was delighted when the preacher, supernumerary minister Rev. Derek Bibb, announced that he would be leading the worship on the theme of Epiphany. It is such a great festival within the church year, one which speaks of new opportunities, of expanded borders, of un-looked-for possibilities, of surprising encounters. A celebration of birth which is earthy and real, but where the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh bring with them a glimpse of glory, a scent of mystery and, yes, a foreshadowing of pain.
Amongst the beautiful Epiphany hymns we sang on Sunday morning was Marjorie Dobson’s excellent “Birth brings a promise of new life awaking”. This had particular resonance for me as we had returned to Glasgow the previous evening from meeting our precious and beautiful little grand-daughter, Martha Grace, born to Hannah and Tim last Thursday. Still full of wonder, thankfulness and awe at this great miracle, perhaps it was no surprise that by verse two I could feel my throat closing up and my eyes watering… “Ev’ry new life changes those who are around it, making demands of commitment and care, calling for love to enfold and surround it, re-shaping patterns by claiming a share“.☆
How true. Andrew and I feel so blessed to be amongst those many folk who will be “around” the life of Martha Grace and who will be changed and reshaped by her and by the new dimension of love which she brings to so many lives. Thanks be to God. Hannah and Tim are learning their new roles brilliantly and we rejoice with them.
☆(You can read all the verses of the hymn here).
Since my last (hasty) blog post, the Twelve Days of Christmas have passed, with all that the season brings – travelling and worship, angel songs and tired parents, surprises and familiarity, glory and pain. More than ever, this year, I am amazed and challenged by the realisation that at the heart of the message is the birth of a baby – a vulnerable, fragile baby. What a remarkable way for God to be revealed.