Rev Sue’s January Letter to the Parish

Rest in the Lord

Blue Monday, this year January 16th, is officially the most depressing day of the year. It has been carefully calculated using a scientific formula based on the weather, credit card bills coming in, the time since New Year’s resolutions have failed and low motivation levels. It is a very complex and impressive looking formula. And is complete rubbish. There is no scientific backing whatsoever – it was part of an advertising campaign by Sky Travel!

However, there is a kernel of truth in the statement. Firstly, there is the aftermath of Christmas. If it was focused on consumption – food, drink and expensive presents, there will be an emptiness, both in the bank account and in mood. However, it is good to enjoy ourselves celebrating with family and friends. Time spent nurturing the relationships with those we love will have given us a genuine boost. Love and affection fortify us in the difficult times. And as Christians we have welcomed the Christ child and been filled with lasting joy and hope.

Secondly there are the resolutions we have made and failed to keep. We so often punish ourselves by trying to make ourselves into better people by telling ourselves off for the things we wish we didn’t do and trying hard to change. We set ourselves up for failure by making promises to ourselves we know in our heart we won’t keep.

Lastly, there is the weather – that one, I’m afraid is as it is!

Instead of berating yourself, why don’t you make this year’s resolution to be kind to yourself. Not indulge yourself but cut yourself some slack. Admit that you often get things wrong, but that you often get them right, too. Ask God to show you what needs changing and to give you the grace to do it – and acknowledge that it may take some time. Thank God for the things you like about yourself and let them really blossom. And if the long nights and short days, and the miserable weather, get you down, take it slowly. Get plenty of rest. People aren’t designed to go full throttle at this time of year.

These words are from Psalm 37. I quote them in the form they were set to music by Mendelssohn.

Oh rest in the Lord,
wait patiently for Him,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.

Commit thy way unto Him,
and trust in Him,
and fret not thyself because of evil-doers.

What better words to focus on this month?

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