These were ordinary shepherds who had an extraordinary, unexpected encounter with the Lord.  This poem spells it out:


            This was the moment when Before

            Turned into After, and the future’s

            Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

            This was the moment when nothing

            Happened.  Only dull peace

            Sprawled boringly over the earth.

            This was the moment when even energetic Romans

            Could find nothing better to do

            Than counting heads in remote provinces.

            And this was the moment

            When a few farm workers and three

            Members of an obscure Persian sect

            Walked haphazard by starlight straight

            Into the kingdom of heaven.

  • U. A. Fanthorpe, quoted in haphazard by starlight, by Janet Morley

        pub. SPCK 2013

As the year turns, we are ordinary people walking into our futures, will we unintentionally stumble upon the kingdom of heaven as the shepherds did? 

Some thoughts to ponder to help us for year ahead, thanking God for happy moments, and for bringing us through difficult times:

            What memories do I have from 2023 that lift my heart and make it sing?

            What memories do I have that maybe weren’t easy ones, but from which I learned something?

We pray:   Thank you Lord for all these things, for having you, and all these people, in my life.  Amen.

A prayer for the day:

Loving God, help me to live well today.                                    Fill me with your Spirit

I have had my yesterdays,                                                           And give me the courage

Some were good, some were not so good.                              To be the person you know I can be.

What happened yesterday cannot be changed.                      Help me to live today as you would have me live,

But I can be changed.                                                                   Loving others as you love me.


Praying blessings for everyone in 2024!