The Christmas season is over – done and dusted, so to speak! The Christmas decorations are stored away, the tree is gone and the lights are extinguished.  There are only 351 days to go before we celebrate Christmas again.

Today we begin the “ordinary season” of the church’s year.  This season continues until Ash Wednesday on the 14th February when we commence our preparations for Easter 2018.

The liturgical colour for the next four and a half weeks is green.  It is the colour of hope-the colour of summer.  It is the symbol of human discovery of all that is wonderful.

In today’s Gospel story men called Andrew and Peter, seemingly followers of John the Baptist meet Jesus for the first time. They ask Jesus “Where do you live”.  Jesus answered “Come and see!”  So Andrew and Peter followed Jesus to his home, probably in Nazareth.  One presumes that Mary and Joseph would have been there and Andrew and Peter would have been offered traditional Jewish hospitality.  Jesus Andrew and Peter would have chattered late into the night about politics and religion and, as they talked, Andrew especially realised that he was conversing with the most insightful person he had ever met.  In Andrew’s mind there was no doubt – This was the messiah!

As we begin this season of hope leading up to Easter, we are also invited into the place where Jesus lives.  Most of us, from time to time, ask ourselves about who Jesus really is.  Today, at the beginning of this new season of the church’s year, He also says to us, “Come and see!”

At the beginning of the 2018 year we are invited to follow Jesus and, if we do, we will have a profound insight, as did that man called Andrew, and we will discover that we are walking, talking and exploring with the Son of God.

Rev Fr Tom Stevens