CHURCHES COLUMN: We are all special as we are all created in God’s image

Back in March 1983, the rock band New Order released a track called ‘Blue Monday’, writes the Rev Vaughan Roberts, of St Mary's Church, Leamington.
January can be a difficult monthJanuary can be a difficult month
January can be a difficult month

It was a commercial hit and remains the best-selling 12” single of all time.

Then, in 2005, the phrase Blue Monday was coined for that day in January that is said to be the most depressing day of the year, in contrast to a day in June which is said to be the happiest.

There is an equation that is used to calculate Blue Monday, which is usually the third Monday of the first month.

However, the equation and the notion of Blue Monday have both been dismissed by many scientists.

Setting aside whether Blue Monday exists, it does seem to me that January can be a challenging month.

The excitement of Christmas is past, the hope of summer is still very distant and the challenges of everyday life are unremittingly present.

In addition, more recently we have also had the challenges of the pandemic to face in what can already be a demanding period for personal health and for our health care services.

For many churches, January is the season of Epiphany, which is a time of revelation or disclosure.

This starts with the story of the Magi (Wise Men) travelling to Bethlehem to pay homage to the Christ-child and includes the story of Jesus’s baptism in the River Jordan by his cousin, John the Baptist, plus Jesus’s first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana.

To use a contemporary term, these events are eye-openers.

They are moments when the presence of God is revealed in our world and the life of a special individual.

There’s a sense in which we are all special individuals because we are all created in God’s image and reflect God’s worth.

As we move into another new and challenging year, the season of Epiphany can provide a sense of hope that God continues to be not only present in our world, but also to be with us as we face all that the future holds for us, individually and as a world.

God is present, if we too keep our eyes open.