Welcome to 2017
The ancient Roman god Janus (whose name most scholars believe is the source of the name of our month January) is conventionally thought of as a god of transition. A single being depicted with two faces, one looking forward and one backward, he is a compelling image of the interconnection between past and future, from one condition to another, from one vision to a new one, but viewed as a single process, perhaps even as a sort of ‘non-duality.’
In a sense then, as we tend to look backwards and forwards at the start of a new year and Janus may be an appropriate symbol for the changes that we are perhaps anticipating across the course of the next phases of our individual and communal lives.
For our little chapel community, we know that some changes are afoot too. Duncan, for example, is stepping into pastures new with his student ministry with our friends over at the congregation at Ditchling and we wish him well with his exciting new endeavour.
We should also remember though that whilst a place of worship can be a place for transformation and change, it can also be a place of stability and security; a place where we can be assured that changes are made at a considered pace, with due regard for the past, the present and the future.
Many things change. People change. Times change. But humanity’s general acknowledgement that there is always room in the heart, mind and soul for that which is eternal and true seems to be a timeless phenomenon, no matter the variety of ways in which this may find expression.
We are all human beings and this makes us spiritual beings and this makes us religious beings* and this is what makes our work at the Chapel so relevant.
So dear human being; Happy New Year to you one and all.
(*You can wrestle with the difference between the two – if you see one – for yourselves).