From the Parish Priest

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,

"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."

 

New Year is always both exciting and frightening: What will this year bring? How will we deal with all the pressures and demands which will be made upon us? Will we be well?

The poem which King George VI used in his Christmas broadcast  in 1939 reflects that combination of excitement but also fear of the future. He was speaking at a particularly difficult time for the nation; war was just beginning and there was absolutely no guarantee as to its result.

 

We may well feel a similar kind of frisson in the unknown future we face. How will Brexit pan out? Will Donald Trump create the kind of divided and cruel world he spoke about in his campaign? We may well also have serious concerns about our own situations which makes this New Year especially challenging.

 

But, whatever the circumstances, the poem speaks true. We cannot avoid treading out into the unknown; the nature of time and space demand it. But we can do so with confidence if we reach out to take the hand of God. In the midst of all the changes and chances of this fleeting world, He remains a rock and a defence, a shield and a lantern. As St Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or death?  No, in all these things we have the victory through him who loved us.”

 

That’s not to say that everything in the garden will be lovely all the time. But it is to say that with our trust and confidence in God we can deal with everything thrown at us, keep it in proportion and win through.

 

May you do just that in 2017!

 Peter Wolfenden

 


From the Parish Priest
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