Another new year has dawned. What is ahead? For our family, we have expectations of great joy among our grandchildren. Tim starts a new job, Chris & Haruna are expecting a baby (our first great grandchild), Ben and Allyson are getting married, Zachary starts teacher’s college and Ellie university: so much potential for new life.
Even with these anticipated events there will be mystery, lots of twists and turns, for each one of us personally. For example, I’ve three new manuscripts completed. Will they be published this year? Will illness creep into our lives? At our age, we have known lots of bumps and obstacles. Through the joys and sorrows ahead, I will need my faith. In 2020, I will spend much time talking with God in prayer.
In our wider world, 2020 also brings mystery. How much more will we damage our environment? Will we hear the cries of the earth and answer with new priorities, a new way of living? Is this the year that we as human beings will turn toward peace instead of war, sharing instead of hunger?
In 1939, Britain was at war with Hitler. Our nation was frightened, the future a mystery. Would the war end quickly or drag on and on? In his Christmas message to the nation, King George VI quoted the preamble to Minnie Louise Haskin’s poem, God Knows. His thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth had given him Minnie’s poem. I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I would like to say to you:
“I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.’”
King George VI finished by saying, “May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.’”
Young Elizabeth, not yet our Queen, knew that Minnie’s words carried wisdom, encouragement, strength for Britain and the world in that time. We know they still do today. Young people, teenagers, even children, have wisdom to offer. They are speaking out. In 2020, we need to listen.
Today’s Faith by Rev. Janet Stobie