How will you start the New Year? Full of hope and optimism? Carrying on in the same old way that you have done for the last several years? Or perhaps looking back with nostalgia on a time past that is gone forever.
One well-regarded newspaper described this years’ transition as “2017-2018 The age of confusion”. And looking round the world today one can well understand the sentiment, with old certainties passing away, and the rise of new unpredictable world leaders.
As we move from the joyful celebration of Christmas to the season of Epiphany, we think about about how Emmanuel (“God with us”) is made manifest in the world around us. A poem by Howard Thurman called “The Work of Christmas”, put it this way:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
That sound like it is down to us to put in a lot of hard work. But remember, prayer itself is a form of work and that, with guidance by the Holy Spirit, is where all the rest stems from.
May you have a blessed New Year, and peace in your hearts throughout 2018