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Happy New Year! It seems strange typing that given that I’m writing in mid December and Perton is shrouded in snow… I’m sure you remember those days when the world seemed to grind to a halt; cars didn’t leave the drives; people walked across the village - or were pulled on sledges!; people helped each other, clearing drives and running errands; snowmen abounded; as the world was blanketed. Snow can be a nightmare, but there’s something clean, stunningly beautiful and fresh about snow. Most of us stop, wonder and enjoy watching as big fluffy flakes fall to earth. 

There’s a verse in the Bible which says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”. A vivid image: our sins - our mistakes and wrongs - are scarlet; and yet God states they can be as white as snow - purified, cleansed.

New Year’s traditionally a time for new beginnings, for resolutions and fresh starts, whether it’s detoxing after the indulgences of Christmas, or setting ourselves goals for the year ahead. It’s good to take stock, make choices about things we want to stop doing, or take up. 

Why not also take the opportunity to take stock of your spiritual journey? We all make mistakes and want fresh starts. Perhaps there are things we need to say sorry for, to another, and to God. God loves every single one of us, unconditionally, and I want to reassure you that when we say sorry to God, recognising that our mistakes are scarlet, God promises to forgive us; to give us a fresh start, clean and pure, like white snow.  A beautiful image as we embark on 2018.

Rev'd Julia

January 2018