David Hall – 22nd December 2013

As December draws to an end and a New Year begins, with Christmas Day at the heart of this transition, our thoughts turn back to the past and forward to the year ahead.

One of my favourite carols is “Have yourself a very merry Christmas”.  I not only like the tune, but it has twice made me think deeply.  Once, in the middle of a rather raucous student Christmas singsong many years ago, the line “one day soon we all will be together if the fates allow” struck me for the first time with the thought that for many this time of year brings the poignancy of separation.

The second time it made me think deeply, was when a talented gospel singer Andrea Crouch sang it at the end of one of his concerts and changed the line to “one day soon we all will be together if the Lord allows”.  What a difference such a small change makes!  How it changes our view of the past and the future!

Looking back as a church family, this year has been an encouraging one with much thanksgiving to God.  It has been good to see people step forward into a personal living faith at guest services or within our Alpha and Christianity Explored courses, and others deepen their understanding of Christian Discipleship – both old and young!  I am so grateful for all who have given so much to others within our church family.

But now we look to the future.  We may reach the end of one year with unfinished business, even ill health and damaged relationships, viewing the future with apprehension, but our Lord has allowed the year which has taken place. He knows the future and he holds our destiny in his loving hands.  Let us hold onto these words from Hebrews 13 v5-6:

“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…’”

Wishing you the Lord’s richest blessings over Christmas