A Fresh Start (02-01-23)
Follow The Star: An Invitation To A Fresh Start
Today's reflection is written by Ian Adams, Chaplain at Ridley Hall Cambridge, and Spirituality Lead for Church Mission Society
Today I'm dreaming of mountains.
Now I love where I live, but it's far from any mountains, so I need to dream big. One of the things that kept me afloat during the pandemic was the hope that I might one day be in the mountains again. In their wild and magnificent company, I encounter both my smallness, and my belonging. I am restored, perhaps even changed a little for good, and emboldened to enter whatever new season of life is coming up.
now of course, the mountains can be a challenging environment. And they're not everybody's happy place. But you will have your own place of transformation: somewhere you can breathe deep, see more clearly, accept some reshaping, and make a fresh start.
Bible Reading: Micah 4:1-4
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established at the highest of the mountains and shall be raised up above the hills. People should stream to it, and many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the heights of the God of Jacob, that he might teach us his ways, and that he may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the world of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away. They shall beat their swords into plough shares and they spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. For they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
In our reading from the Jewish scriptures, the prophet Micah urges his people to make a fresh start. Drawing on a rich theme from their collective history, he uses the imagery of journeying to mountain, representing the place of God's presence. Micah’s hearers would have understood the link in their context to Jerusalem, and specifically to the temple.
Micah foresees the healing up transformation that may come about by being prayerfully present to God in this place, a possibility that can encourage us even now.
Imagine! Nations no longer at war. Every person at peace, at home, in a flourishing earth. A fresh start for the world is, in God's grace, possible. It can, and must, begin in each of us.
I invite you to resolve this year to go prayerfully and hopefully to a place that will enable you to find the transformation you see to go into the mountains whatever that might look like for you
God of grace, mercy and peace,
help me to find a place of transformation where I can be present to you,
and make the fresh start into which you are calling me.
Go tell it on the mountain
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