17 jan option 2-01

Looking for signs of growth

What’s new – in a good way?

“So – what’s new?” a friend of mine would ask each time we caught up. I’d find myself thinking hard, yet 9 times out of 10 I’d say “not much”.  It always felt like a lame answer, but off the cuff I struggled to find something else to say.

Two weeks into 2021, our lives continue to be influenced by decisions about which we have no say, often at short notice, made for the wellbeing of communities as a whole yet affecting the way we get to do so many things that are important to us – family celebrations,  worship and holiday plans to name a few. We are beginning to tire of new regulations and restrictions that come and go . Keeping up with what’s new, and the uncertainty of what’s ahead, can be hard work.

Yet, moment by moment, day by day, new things are happening that are signs of life and growth in our lives and in the world. Good things. Things to celebrate. That’s the nature of life. And we’re invited to pay attention and revel in the wonder of it all.

For example, since the recent rain I’ve noticed signs of growth in our garden – fresh red tips on the shrubs on our footpath and new shoots on our flowering plants. Even the  succulents look happier.

And the other day I discovered a little treasure … 2 years ago my sister-in-law gave me a native orchid with little purple flowers. Despite my tender loving care it hasn’t flowered since – until this week! One exquisite flower. Sometimes new things take time and nurturing. We need to dig deep and access the patience and trust that is inside all of us – gifts from God waiting to be drawn on.

Sometimes we discover new strengths or skills we didn’t know we had. I just bought a new laptop and I’m surprised by how easily I’ve found my way around this new device. We’re getting on very well! Perhaps you’ve also discovered something new about your skillset or interests that has surprised you and brought you a sense of accomplishment.

Of course, anyone who has asked me ‘what’s new?’ in the last few weeks has had plenty to hear about! I’m very happy to have joined the staff team at Robina Anglican, and very excited about what we might all do together in the year ahead to live into the fullness of life to which we are invited, every day.  And then to invite others to also ‘come and see’ God who has come to live with each one of us in each one of our life’s moments through the spirit of Jesus, raised to new life for all people.

As I get to know each of our staff members, I feel immensely grateful for this team of skilled and passionate people, daily living out Jesus’ invitation to live life in the fullness of God’s love for us, and inviting others to do the same. Alongside an amazing crew of people from the parish community who serve in many other ways  with love, care and commitment to help make Robina Anglican a church community known for its authentic relationships and love for God, the new year promises to be a great year, whatever is in store.

So, before you move on, I invite you to think about ‘what’s new?’. Whether the new thing is challenging or liberating, how might you give thanks for the opportunities it offers to live more deeply into God’s never-giving-up, always-and-forever love?

To close, from the Old Testament book of Lamentations (3: 21-23)

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

    God’s mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

Go well,

Mary-Anne

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