Monday, January 4, 2021

Welcome 2021


Has ever a year been more fervently wished on its way than 2020? Begun with hope and joy, now, all over the world, people can't wait to say good-bye to the misery that was 2020. 

2021 holds our hopes for a return to life as we knew it. A life that includes attending church services in person, HUGS, coffee dates, travel, reunions, office parties, regular classes . . . The list goes on and on. So many moments and so many lives stolen in 2020.

And yet, there is some trepidation around the new year. If 2020 taught us anything it's that life is uncertain. In other years we might have made resolutions, travel reservations, and arrangements for celebrations, confident that our plans would come to fruition. In 2021 do we still have that certainty? The pandemic has forced life-altering changes on our society. Will we ever return to our 2019 way of life?

Have we become so conditioned to social avoidance that we'll continue to shun casual acquaintance? What will our congregation look like when we return to the church building? Will our economy recover? Will businesses survive? How many more will die before we achieve herd immunity with the vaccines? 

Do we even want to return to 2019 patterns? Is work-from-home the way of the future? Are virtual connections a better way to conduct business?

When the scientific community announced the development of vaccines the world gave a collective cheer. Life could return to "normal." But we don't know what "normal" will look like in the months ahead.

More than ever, as we bid good riddance to the year of COVID 19, we need faith.

In the dark days heading into WWII George VI famously quoted these lines. "Go 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!"

Canadian song writer Gene McClellan put the idea into music. 

"Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water,"  first recorded by Ann Murray.

Victor Hugo said: 

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones: when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

A quick review of the Bible reminds us that fear and doubt have been part of the human condition throughout history. Time and again, God reminds His people to put their trust in Him. These are some of the best known and best loved verses. 

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Ps. 23:4

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved".Psalm 55:22 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 

I once heard a marvellous sermon about starting school. The preacher explained that his mother had taken him to school, seen him through the door and then left him there. "I thought my mother loved me!" he exclaimed, while the congregation chuckled. His point was that we have all experienced the unknown in our lives. Usually we face it with foreboding and only appreciate it in hindsight. He said new things are like going around a corner. We can't see what's ahead, so turning corners can be scary. He ended his sermon by reminding us that what lies around the corner, is not the frightening unknown. What lies around the corner are the loving arms of Jesus.

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13 

The link for this week's live streamed service is

1 comment:

  1. Well written and very encouraging for the future. Stay safe, stay strong.