New year – new beginnings

At the turning of the year you can be sure of two things – that there will be many reviews of the year ending and many predictions about what might happen in the year ahead! What has happened is past and we can do nothing to change it, but it is always interesting to look back and remember some of the events that shaped our common life, events that were newsworthy then but are now perhaps long forgotten.

They might remind us about more personal events too – things that were happening in our lives at the time, or the way we were feeling about life and the challenges we faced. If you look back over 2015 you might say you had a quiet year, or an eventful year, or a difficult and challenging year or one that was full of good things. I rather suspect that for most of you it will have been a combination of all these things – much to be thankful for but also things that you could have done without!

Looking forward to the year ahead is more difficult and by its very nature is always going to be speculative. The world moves at such a pace it is difficult to predict what will happen even next week never mind later in the year. Whilst a certain amount of planning ahead is necessary there is also something in the philosophy that says just take each day as it comes and try to live each of those days to the full.

Beginning the New Year can, for some, be a time to start again. Making resolutions, trying something new, turning over a new leaf and so on. If this is you then I wish you well in all that you are trying to do. For others, the New Year might be a time of anxiety or worry – fear of the unknown and an uncertain future. If this is you then I wish you peace and courage to face your fears and to discover light in your darkness.

Whatever the New Year may bring, may I wish you happiness and hope in the days ahead. May you know God to be travelling with you as you face the unknown, that you may be strengthened by him and hopefully be able to look back at 2016 and think ‘that was a good year’ filled with love and blessings even when times were difficult. And may the blessings of Christmas – peace, joy and goodwill extend beyond this festive season to your lives and the lives of all your loved ones today in the year to come.