Yesterday those of us who attended the church service at 10am were privileged to hear our new curate, Hugh preach his first sermon at St Peter & St Paul. He tackled both readings, one from Ecclesiastes and one from St Luke’s Gospel, with great aplomb, but what struck me particularly was his final summing up. The Teacher who wrote Ecclesiastes – whoever that might have been – was world weary as he claimed ‘There is nothing new under the sun’. However, Hugh pointed out, it was the Son in the New Testament who proclaimed, ‘Behold, I make all thing new!’

That affirmation set me hunting and I found a meditation in which Anna, daughter of Phanuel, is speaking about the infant Jesus brought to the Temple when she was present.

I really felt I’d missed it, truthfully.
I mean, I wasn’t just old
I was ancient!
And still there was no sign of the Messiah,
no hint of his coming.

 Until that day when
hobbling back through the temple after yet more prayers,
suddenly I saw him,
God’s promised Messiah.

 It taught me here is always reason to hope
no matter how futile it seems.
It taught me to go on expecting
despite all the blows life may dish out.
It taught me God has never finished
however much it may feel like it.
I nearly lost sight of all that.
I was right on the brink,
fearing God had passed me by.
But he’d saved the best till last,
and I know now, even though the waiting is over,
that there’s more to come,
more to expect,
more to celebrate.
For though my life is nearly at an end,
it has only just begun!

 With acknowledgement to Nick Fawcett

[Thelma Shacklady]