As we come to the start of another year and wonder what the year ahead holds for us I am reminded of the poem we know as 'The Gate of the Year', which was written in 1908 by Minnie Louise Haskins and used in King George VI's 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire. This is the first part of it:
And 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.'
So I went forth, and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
None of us knows what the year ahead holds for us but we can be assured that in all we do, we do in the light of God, and we can do nothing better than putting our hands in his and letting his light guide us.
As a church we try many forms of outreach, but the best form of outreach that we have as Christians is that people see the light of Christ in us - we are beacons for the Lord and when people work together and love one another, all things are possible. I pray that in the year ahead we will grow together in God's love.
The peace of the Lord be with you all, throughout 2018 and evermore.
Joke of the Week
A man died and went to heaven. When he got there St Peter told him that before he'd be allowed in, he'd have to take a test. First, he'd have to fly twenty yards with the wings they gave him, then play three choruses of his favourite hymn on a harp, and finally, walk a hundred paces balancing a halo on his head without slipping. Well, he passed the flying test without any problem and played not three, but six choruses of the hymn on the harp, but he just couldn't get the halo to stay straight when he walked. St Peter said, 'I'm sorry but we can't accept you. You're very good, but before you come in you have to get your 'O' level.'