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Viewpoint from Revd Canon Simon Ward 05/01/2018 

SIMON WARD 12-2018Revd Canon Simon Ward
Team Rector of Great Yarmouth

as publsihed in the Yarmouth Mercury


I wonder how you chose to see in the New Year. Maybe you were celebrating with others, popping corks, and cheering the midnight chimes. Maybe the lure of a cosy bed and the potential to feel bright in the morning won you over. Whichever way you chose welcome to the start of 2018
dove leftA few years ago I saw in the New Year with friends in Felixstowe. For the first time, I heard the ships in port sounding their horns to mark their own New Year, according to their country of origin. A Greek ship would sound their horn at 10pm, when the people of Athens would be welcoming the New Year. For the whole evening we heard horns and guessed where they could be from. It was a reminder of the passing of global time. We are people who watch the clock and count the minutes. Punctuality is a virtue, even a necessity
The ancient Greeks had two words for “time”. One was “chronos” which refers to the passing of the hours and minutes. We find that word in words such as chronological or anachronism. It’s the time on the clock. The other is “kairos” which refers to a particular moment: the right moment or the particular moment. Kairos is about quality, not quantity. It is “seize the day”. Kairos is that moment when all the right ingredients align together and it can be the point when the best things happen
Dove rightBefore Christmas I read how Graham Plant, leader of our council, was encouraging us to see the potential in Great Yarmouth: there is investment; there is new infrastructure; new roads and a new river crossing. All such positive things may contribute to a positive kairos. We all hope so
Whatever this year may hold, people of all faiths will be praying. Christians still proclaim the Good News of Jesus birth: the ultimate kairos moment when God reveals his presence among us. We are still within the 12 days of Christmas! And that word, kairos, is found at many points in the gospels (written in Greek of course) when referring to what Jesus did.  We cannot sit back and let the year wash over us because we are called to be active in the service of God. We must celebrate the lives God has given us and use them as best we can in his service


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