FROM THE PASTOR
happy new year!
Greeting Gandalf the Grey with and enthusiastic “Happy New Year” may go something like this:
Bilbo Baggins: Happy New Year!
Gandalf: What do you mean? Do you wish me a Happy New Year, or do you mean that it is a Happy New Year whether I want it or not? Or perhaps you mean to say that you feel happy this particular first day of the New Year? Or are you simply stating that this is a New Year to be Happy in? Hmm?
Bilbo Baggins: All of them at once, I suppose.
(Adapted from the film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, 2012, and based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)
The world has the same old problems. We are not only plagued by Covid, we are plagued by the same sins. We are succeeded by broken promises, and there’s plenty of things that remind us that nothing much has changed, and we haven’t really changed either. Are we any more or any less better off, and will we get the better year we hope for? Hmm. None of us want past sins hanging over our head, like a dark cloud, and you know what? God doesn’t want that either! It is by faith in Jesus Christ (every day), that God’s mercies are new every morning; God in Christ Jesus, has mercy on us. Through faith in Christ, we can everyday wake up with a clean slate; all our sins wiped cleaned by the blood of Christ. This means none of our past sins hang over us or weigh heavily down on us; God will remember them no more. How happy are we to enter a new year with that, and then some: out of God’s mercy, and grace, God in Christ will continue to take care and provide for all our needs every day. God never tires, and never runs out of grace and blessing for body, mind – our whole being.
With God’s love and grace and mercy, we truly enter a new year—another year with hope and confidence in our Saviour-God. The sins and troubles of the past year are past, and we know the future is in the loving hands of our eternal God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To all of you reading this, “Happy New Year!”. Now sing with me this old song (tune, 153 AT) based on the words from Lamentations 3:22-23:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new ev’ry morning, new ev’ry morning.
Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.
(Edith McNeill, 1974/1975, Celebration)
God bless you and your families, wishing and praying you all for safe travel, a restful break and a God-given new year to be thankful for.
We Pray For:
† Those who will be born this year, and those who will die; those who will be wounded and those who will need healing; those who will laugh and those who will mourn.
† Wisdom to see what must be torn down and what must be built up; for the courage to throw away the things we longer need and for the strength to gather together in the things we need to keep close and dear.
† Times when we may embrace those we have refrained from embracing; when we may seek those that we have lost; when we may love those whom we have hated.
† Wisdom to know the time to speak and the time to keep silent; the time for war and the time for peace.
† The Commonwealth of Australia, and for all who live in its states and territories.