Thought for the week – Reverend David Jones

The inevitable ‘reviews’ of 2017 will again highlight the major events of the closing year, whether political, international, sport or in the world of entertainment we are going to be reminded, whether we like it or not, and what a year it’s been! 2017 was very much the year of Brexit and Mr Trump.

The ‘Brexit’ saga is likely to go on with arguments analysing the pros and cons dominating the political agenda well into the new year and beyond. 2017 was, sadly, a year of immense tragedy as we recall the Westminster attack in March and the despicable attacks in Manchester and Borough Market London where so many lives were lost.

France elected Emmanuel Macron as their youngest president and Mrs May will, no doubt, rue the day she called that snap general election in June. All-time favourite Bruce Forsyth, along with Roger Moore and Lord Snowdon were among the celebrities who died during the year.

On a happier note there was news of a Royal wedding next summer on the same day as the FA Cup Final. I wonder which will be the ‘match of the day!’

It’s the same for us. There may have been times of sadness and loss this last year with reasons for joy and celebration or a combination of both. Whatever our feelings and thoughts, be they regret or gladness the past is gone and before us is a new year and the hope and potential for new beginnings as we look to the future.

So, what of the new year? 2018 is, of course, unchartered territory. None of us know what even the next minute holds and yet there’s the sure promise that God is with us and we do not face that future alone. In his 1939 Christmas Day broadcast to a troubled nation King George VI concluded his nine-minute broadcast with a poem which must have brought encouragement and comfort to all who listened. For us, living in an uncertain world they remain worlds of hope and assurance.

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.”

May that same Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all to the new year.

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