Pew News January 2021
During Advent some of us have been reading and discussing (safely by Zoom of course!) a book of daily poems by R.S. Thomas.
Some (many? most?) of his poems can be very difficult to understand, to me at least, and I need to read them through several times before I am able even to begin to get some sense of what their meaning might be. But that in itself is probably a good thing as it forces me to slow down and focus on what I am doing rather than thinking about what I need to do next or should have been doing before.
Thomas is very interested in an intimate personal even mystical relationship with God. In the selection of poems, we have been reading he sometimes feels God’s presence very clearly at others there appears to be an absence. I suspect that most if not all Christians will recognise that feeling.
In one poem ‘I know him’ he talks about God being like a figure ahead of you in the mist on a mountainside and just as you think that you can see (understand?) Him, he dissolves but always drawing you on, encouraging you in your search for and desire to know Him better.
Trying to know God is not a passive thing, it is something with which we need to actively engage, sometimes we will feel we are making progress at other times we will feel lost or even abandoned.
Bishop Rose in her first address to the Diocesan synod encouraged all the people of the diocese to engage more with our bibles. She asked, how much time to do you spend each day reading the newspaper? and then, do you spend as much time reading your bible?
St Anselm tells us to ‘…. escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts…….Abandon yourself for a little to God and rest for a little in Him’.
How about a New year’s resolution to do just that each day?
To finish with another poem of Thomas called ‘The Kingdom’, which speaks about the distance to God’s Kingdom with its very different set of values. It ends:
‘…It’s a long way off, but to get
There takes no time and admission
Is free, if you will purge yourself
Of desire, and present yourself with
Your need only and the simple offering
Of your faith, green as a leaf.’
With all best wishes and blessings for the New Year.
Readings for January 2021
Psalm 72. (1 – 9) 10 - 15
3rd January Epiphany Isaiah 60. 1 – 6 Ephesians 3. 1 - 12 Matt. 2. 1 - 12
10th January Baptism of Christ Genesis 1. 1 - 5 Acts 19. 1 - 7 Mark 1. 4 – 11
Psalm 139. 1 – 5, 12 – 18 (or 139 1 – 9)
17th January Epiphany 2 1 Samuel 3. 1 – 10 (11 – 20) Revelation 5. 1 – 10 John 1. 43 - end
24th January Epiphany 3 Genesis 14. 17 - 20 Revelation 19. 6 - 10 John 2. 1 - 11
Psalm 24 (1 – 6) 7 - end
31st January Candlemas Malachi 3. 1 - 5 Hebrews 2. 14 - end Luke 2. 22 – 40 (Benefice Service)
Ralph BLAKE (Charing)
Ralph died on Tuesday 27th October 2020 aged 89. His funeral took place at Charing Crematorium,
on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
May God enfold Ralph in his tender love and care.