As I write, there is a fire engine and two police cars in the street above us. And in our street discarded needles. (Tomorrow, when it isn’t bank holiday I will go clean them up – with a dust pan and brush – then ring the council to find out where to dispose them).
And today, while i was in a queue in a shop I saw this:
Santa still looking great and the baby Jesus thrown on the floor. Today it feels like a metaphor for my street, for our country.
And those poor parents on the news, visiting the place their murdered daughter was found on Christmas day – I cried with them.
It really is a bleak mid winter.
As I travel with so many others between Christmas and the turn of the year, I am reminded of the Magi and their long journey to the King. And I am reminded of the hurried journey, Joseph grabbing his family and running for their lives from Herod. Jesus’ life was to be as difficult as the hardest of winters.
But I am also reminded of the Risen Christ’s words:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
He is with us – right to the end of the age.
Even when there are needles in the street, He is with us. Even when the police are regularly in the neighbourhood, He is with us. Even when the society we live in sees Jesus as a throw away commodity they didn’t really want anyway – He is with us, right to the end.
With this gold in my heart, I find myself thirsty for what else Jesus had to say here – to make disciples, drawing them into the family of God and helping them grow in the life of faith.
When I start my new job next week, it is the gold I will take with me.