Welcome to The Avon-Swift BeneficeWe are 11 Church of England Parishes in South Leicestershire, in the Diocese of Leicester. We welcome everyone to join us in worship and community in our village churches.
“We the parishes of The Avon-Swift Benefice commit ourselves to God and to one another, seeking to become a community that is centred on Christ and inspired by the Spirit to respond to the love of the Father and share it with others."
From the ministry team...........
New Year, New Start?
Another year’s over, and a new one’s just begun; it’s 2019 already! But does it feel like a new year, new start? Social media offers new hashtags…
What might yours be?
New Year New Me
Adopt every cat on earth?
Lose weight and work out?
But are these enough, is there more to life? Then I stumbled across this gem:
Live more for Jesus Christ
What could that mean for each of us this year? A familiar reading for the new year is the wise men’s journey in Epiphany. The magi spent their lives predicting the future, so God came to them in a way they would understand – as astronomers he had them follow a star. It may seem odd as the magi had no connection with Jesus; they didn’t believe, and yet God worked to reach out to them – just as he does with us. We are never too far away for God to reach us and give us a new start. He never gives up, and we are always included.
Jesus’ life had been foretold long before his birth: his birth in Bethlehem was no accident as it was God’s plan, just as it was with the magi. God’s plan was in place from the beginning of time. So, the wise men followed the star, seeking Jesus:
But what are we seeking?
The magi travelled as the star beckoned them to come and see. They came to worship yet received more than they brought. They recognised that Jesus was more than a future king in the literal sense: He was also God’s Son, and they laid their gifts before him.
What can we bring?
This New Year, perhaps our challenge is to uncover what we might bring in our search for Jesus; to make room in our hearts, to journey with him and to know him. If we’re seeking God with our hearts, then he will meet us and journey with us.
As we ponder, these words from In the Bleak Mid-Winter might show us a way to pause a while and to look to Jesus for our new start.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can, I give him, give my heart.
Dawn Matthew, Minister in Training