The new year breaks with frigid temperatures sweeping across the country. Thankfully, so far, the first days of the new year also were for the most part bathed in bright sunshine and blue skies. In a symbolic way these two things foreshadow what 2018 holds for most people. The year stretches before us with its secrets hidden in its yet unborn days. As the days of this year unfold they will bring torrid times as well as bright days. Unless we have a unique gift to read the future it is not possible to know with precise certainty what the year will bring. This should be regarded as a blessing. Of course it is possible to make general prognostications about possible happenings based on certain information at hand and trends of events. Even then this is only general expectations and cautious hope, not precise prediction.
How then do we approach this year? We approach this year as we would any new year, indeed any new beginning. As people whose trust is in God, we face this new year with its promises and possibilities with faith and hope. Faith and hope in God gives us the power to enter the unknown, leaping into the dark, without fear and trepidation. We trust that God is in control and whatever comes God will be there with and for us.
The year is before us and we enter it as going on a journey. The road will be at times straight, winding, smooth, rough, going uphill and descending downhill. This journey ahead of us is one we will not walk alone. There will be loved ones, family and friends and sometimes kind strangers walking with us. They will hold our hands when necessary. They will encourage us with kind words and compassionate actions. Above all, God, whose name can be rendered as ‘I WILL BE THERE’, will be on this journey with us. His message to us in times of uncertainty and unknown is the one given in the Nativity story to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds – “Do not be afraid”.
A happy, healthy and blessed New Year to all of our members and friends at Bethesda.