'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.'In a world where fashions change, or words morph their meaning, it is reassuring to know that God is changeless. He can be our reference point, our solid rock
Prayers have so many shapes, and as I have read those written on Christmas or prayer trees it has been a privilege to add an Amen. Some have been deeply personal, almost private. Others more general, longing for peace in our troubled world and so on. Many have been offering thanks to God. They reflect all the emotions and aspirations appropriate to our all powerful God, who chose to show himself in the frailty of a baby.
Trees are good places to tie ribbons or labels that mean something to us. Of course Churches are too. After all they are 'houses of prayer', but that doesn't mean just a collection of interesting stone or brick structures. They need to be lived in, and that takes a pattern and rhythm of praying that is far more than just Sundays.
In the Register or on www.ridgeway.org.uk you can find the details of the prayer opportunities across our sister Churches. Make yourself at home. You are welcome to turn up at any of those published ... and on Sundays too.
But there's one more invitation. Privacy and quiet may be important. Often our Churches are open but empty, and a trickle of people call every day. At Holy Trinity, Bincombe you will find squash welcoming you in the porch. So, please, come on in and help us keep these places prayer-full.
There's something missing in the EU debate which we must never overlook. We will decide whether to stay in or leave in a referendum later this year. We must never forget why it was formed. It has been said that more blood was spilt in Europe last century than in all the preceding ones put together. Many millions died, often in horrific circumstances. This ghastly evil infected many other countries in the two World Wars. The symmetric graves in thousands of cemeteries mock our failure.
The European Union was born to get warring factions working and sharing together. So whatever your political view, may I strongly urge you to put our future peace into the equation. At the moment the debate is severely impoverished by the most important consideration.