Looking back on 2013 we see the usual mixture of life’s ups and downs, joy, happiness, grief, sadness, disaster. For many they will be glad to see the back of 2013 but fo
r others they may reflect that it was a great year for them. We all have hope that 2014 will be a year of good health and happiness but prepare ourselves for whatever comes with a faith that we do not walk this journey alone.
I look back and see the joy of a birth of a baby boy, a prince, a future King for a troubled people. I see the death of a man who spoke words of freedom for oppressed people, a message of forgiveness and reconciliation in the face of a regime that divided peop
le and discriminated against them if they did not fit the ruling orders rule of life.
For Christians I could be speaking about the birth and death of Jesus Christ which we celebrate at Christmas and witness to at Easter because His death was not the end but a new beginning for us and the world, by His resurrection.
With Prince George of Cambridge and Nelson Mandela we can see the hope of a new birth and the example of how to live after the worst injustice has been done to a man and a nation and that by forgiveness the world is a much better place.
At Epiphany, the 12th day of the Christmas celebration on January 6th, we celebrate the light that came into a dark world with “Emmanuel”, God with us – and how Jesus came to show us a new way to live. At Easter we will see that love and forgiveness conquers even the worst evil.
At the end of 2013 our East coast took a battering from the natural world, many homes and lives were devastated but, thank God, nobody died. Lessons from the flood of 1953 had been learned. I pray that during 2014 we learn the lessons that Jesus teaches us every day, “love one another as I have loved you”, “Treat others as you would wish to be treated” and “Forgive as you have been forgiven”.
May you be blessed with health and a loving heart throughout the coming year.