January 2020
Revelation 4:11: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created”
May I wish all our readers a healthy, peaceful and enjoyable 2020. Is it so long since the Millennium? Yes, time does fly when you are having fun, or some would say as you get older.
Now we all will begin to look forward, no doubt some will try to keep their New Year resolution, others won’t have made one, but I am sure we will all have some plan or ambition for the coming months. It may be to work hard to achieve some academic status, it might be to get some domestic decorating done, or perhaps we are saving for something special, whatever it is, it is essential that we are committed to the task in hand.
We have of course, just celebrated, and indeed continue to celebrate the Birth of Jesus, Christmas does not finish on the 1st January, so isn’t it good for us that God had a plan and was committed to it, that he was willing to think ahead and to give to us the best gift we could ever receive.
We have to consider do we think of, believe that, Jesus was the best gift we could receive, do we consider and are we committed to regularly saying thank you, by the way we live, by our actions and our willingness to serve?
We live in a wonderful world, which we are told is being ruined by what is pleased to be called global warming. Those who know best explain to us how this comes about and how we can play, even a small part in helping to better the situation. Are we committed to doing that, is our New Year Resolution about playing our part? Do we ever think that we have a responsibility to preserve what we have enjoyed for those who follow us?
We might feel that there is little we can do, but we can think about not using as much plastic, not always purchasing everything double and sometimes treble wrapped in plastic, being careful with the power we use and ensuring that our recycling is the best it can be for us. Instead of using so many paper tissues should we be using fabric hankies. If we feel that we are doing the best, we can, then do we regularly commit ourselves to prayer for the world circumstances, whether it is global warming or whether it is for peace. Prayer is not an exclusive Sunday activity, prayer is a relationship with God, and as with our earthly relatives the more time we spend with them, the better we know and love them, so it is with God, we need to spend time, reading Scripture, reading the wisdom of theologians and others more learned than us, and we need to have constant conversations with God, asking for his advice, asking for support for us and our loved ones, but MOST IMPORTANTLY saying thank you and praising him for all he has given to each of us. Prayer though is not only about talking and listening, we are praying when we undertake some of our voluntary work, especially if we think carefully about what it is we are doing.
It is difficult but we must “Keep going”, read some words from Margaret Silf, a Scientist and prolific writer of meaningful words.
“A young orphaned German girl sets off on a long walk. In her pocket she fingers a slip of paper, on which is the address of a distant relative far away. On the way she meets every kind of hardship, fear, loneliness, and hunger. What keeps her going is the slip of paper?
What keeps me going when I can’t see the rhyme or reason in things? What keeps me getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other? What serves as my little slip of paper, convincing me that there is a real destination to walk towards?
I don’t keep going because some system of authority says I should, I don’t keep going because of teaching from books, even though the teaching may be wise and true, I keep going because just once in a while, very occasionally, I have felt the touch of God on my heart. It’s a bit like living under perpetual cloud cover and then going up in an aircraft, above the clouds, to where the sun is always shining. If you have glimpsed the sun just once, you know it is always there. If you have known even the lightest touch of God upon your life, you know that God is always there.
What you have known once you can never not know. It will keep you going whatever happens. Cherish it in your heart, just at that little girl curled her cold fingers around her precious slip of paper”
Now you know what my resolution is. We know that it is difficult to keep New Year Resolutions, but we do have the responsibility to try and we know that God understands when we fail.
So, again I say a happy healthy and peaceful New Year to you all, and an assurance that my prayer is for your success. As always Canon Ann.