By Mark Mackay
Each year, I like to start the year with a poem that was read by King George VI as he prepared to lead Great Britain into 1940:
And 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 to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
The end of 2022 marked the end of 3 COVID-affected years.
2022 also included news like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 3 UK Prime Ministers, interest rates increasing, etc, etc. It feels like we live in very uncertain times. But, in the midst of the season, I am also reminded of something a friend of mine told me to do at the start of the pandemic – “Take time to appreciate beauty.”
If we only concentrate on the daily news and the uncertainty of the season, we will just be disheartened. But, if we take time to look at the incredible beauty that is all around us, we will find joy amidst the craziness. It is also in the beauty of faith communities that I find this support and joy through the highs and lows of the year.
For me, I am encouraged when I see the joy in others and am emboldened by the community of our Church. It stems from a God who created community itself when He said at Creation, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
As we press into the new year, let me encourage you to explore the community offered in Churches.
My prayer for you and your family is that, whatever 2023 may bring, you may know the surety of a God who loves you and a community of grace who will celebrate when the highs come and support in the lows. “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”