Wednesday 30th December 2020

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God is present in the vastness of creation.

God is present in the intimacy of home.

God is present in the lofty mountains.

God is present in the deepest valley.

God is present in the vibration of thunder.

God is present in the stillness of silence.

God is present on the street where we live.

God is present in the unknown stranger.

God is present in the life-long friend.

God is present in the bitterness of grief.

God is present in the happiness of celebration.

God is present in the changing times.

God is present in the uniqueness of this moment.

Twelve months ago, as we anticipated the start of the year 2020 we hoped for all sorts of things to happen and were looking forward to events which were already scheduled to happen. If we were realistic, we also knew there would also be sadness’s, and difficulties, just like all the other years we had lived through, but none of us envisioned the year we experienced. So, as we approach the new year of 2021 we come with some apprehension as to what may lie ahead.

I’m sure we were all encouraged by the Queen’s Christmas day message as she pointed to Jesus as the source of her hope and strength when facing difficult days. I want to share with you part of an earlier Christmas Message made by the Queen’s father King George VI during the dark day of World War II. He quoted a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)

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.”

Whatever 2021 holds for each of us, we can look to God to lead us through each day. When we are in darkness, not only is it difficult to know which way to go, but also ordinary things take on a strange and worrying shape, think of a child in their familiar bedroom, afraid because in the darkness the contents of the room have become unrecognisable. As you ‘put your hand into the Hand of God’ he helps us to see the dark shapes which worry us in a new and clear light, God enables us to face whatever we need to face in the days ahead.

I rarely make any new year resolutions, but a phrase which keeps reoccurring in our church life, offers us the best new year resolution we can make: ‘Pray; Trust; Wait.’ and as we wait keep praying and trusting. 

In the Old Testament there is a long poem written by Jeremiah as he mourns the destruction of Jerusalem. It is a poem where he grieves about the fact that his circumstances have changed so completely and utterly, that he can’t see how he can ever find enjoyment in life again, but then he writes: Lamentations 3: 22-23

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Use the words of this song to tell God of your 2021 new year resolution to: Pray; Trust; Wait.

Great is Thy faithfulness O God my Father,

there is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;

as Thou hast been Thou for ever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed Thy hand has provided

great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

(T. O. Chisholm 1866-1960 © 1951 Hope Publishing)

Sunday – Book a place to come together as church at either 10:30am or 6:30pm or watch part of the morning gathering on the church’s FaceBook page at around 10:45am. A summary of the message will be published on the church’s Website.

Before Sunday: read chapters 1 & 2 of the Old Testament book of Daniel. We are going to spend the next few Sundays and Wednesdays looking at the life and experiences of Daniel. He found himself living in circumstances where everything was different to anything he had previously experienced, and we will focus on how Daniel was able to remain faithful to God throughout these testing times.

If you have the Biblegateway app on your phone or ipad, try listening to Daniel chapters 1 & 2 from ‘The Message’ paraphrase. Another option is to watch on YouTube: The Captivity - Daniel 1 Animated Sunday School Lesson for Kids

Page last updated: 1st January 2021 6:30 AM