Happy New Year!

Who hopes for what they already have?

Dear Friends

Okay, let’s all say a big welcome to 2018!

 

Christmas and New Year celebrations are done and dusted for another year and it’s time to take down the tinsel and lights – my bank account is a few pounds lighter and I’m a few pounds heavier so it’s time to sit down and seriously consider my New Year’s resolutions. Actually, a few years ago I made the one and only resolution that I’ve managed to keep and that’s NOT to make any more New Year’s resolutions.

That doesn’t mean to say I don’t have hopes, plans and dreams for the coming year, without them life could be really dull. At St Gabriel’s we’re really looking forward to the completion of the extension to our community buildings. They’re looking really smart and we hope to have the first phase in use by the end of January!

So what are your hopes for the coming year? Perhaps you’re looking forward to a family wedding or a birth; or maybe that holiday of a lifetime in the summer; perhaps a career change or a move of home. Perhaps the year ahead looks uncertain – career prospects looking dodgy, finances stretched or ill health. Hopes and plans are important to us as they provide something to hang onto when times are tough. Hope for something better lying just around the corner, planning for a brighter future. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews in the Bible writes “who hopes for what they already have?

Before I became a Christian I used to dream of career and financial success in the belief that it would bring an end to all of my life’s worries and anxieties. I used to believe that if I worked hard enough for the family the kids would grow up without suffering any of the storms of life that I’d had to sail through. Unrealistic or what? But it’s what we spend a lot of our time doing for ourselves and those we love – isn’t it? 

In the Bible I read this: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you not to harm you..” One of the first things I discovered when I became a Christian was the truth of those words and that God has the most amazing plan for my life. God doesn’t promise to take away the stresses and strains of daily living but what he does promise that whatever happens he’ll be their right in the thick of it with us (have you ever read that well known verse ‘Footprints’?) and he promises to fulfil that longing that is deep within our hearts. Whatever your hopes and plans for the coming year I’ll be praying that you may discover the eternal hope held out in the message of Christmas and fulfilled at Easter. St Paul wrote: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Perhaps you might consider making it a New Year’s resolution to discover God’s plan for your life – you won’t regret it!

I wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year and look forward to seeing more of you.
God’s blessings.
Arthur

 

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