Welcome to 2018!
As we look to the year ahead we do so, as always, with an element of uncertainty.
Some of us will have definite plans in place already – maybe a holiday, or a family wedding. Some of us from Christ Church are looking ahead to a visit to the Holy Land, others to the New Wine summer conference in Somerset. There will be those who have some tentative plans whilst others will just be waiting to see what happens. The truth is, though, that none of us can be absolutely certain of what lies ahead.
Looking back, 2017 wasn’t an easy year. Political uncertainty and terror attacks have dominated the news nationally. At Christ Church several long-standing members passed into their eternal rest. We rejoice that they are secure in God’s mercy, but still feel the pain of loss ourselves, and are aware of the greater loss felt by their families.
For me, 2017 wasn’t the easiest of years either in my family life or in my ministry. During the first half of the year I spent most of my free time sorting out issues arising out of the death of my dad in January. In the second half of the year my time was split between Christ Church and another parish, as I responded to a request from the Bishop to offer support elsewhere. On 1st January I did not know that any of that would happen in 2017.
It’s perhaps as well that we don’t know everything that will unfold. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Whilst that may be true, on its own it doesn’t sound particularly encouraging, but if we read it in context we discover that Jesus is actually saying that if we follow God’s ways then our worries will be removed. That’s not the same as our problems disappearing, but when we trust God we can learn not to worry about the future.
Whatever 2018 has in store for us, if we allow God to be part of it, our experience of what unfolds will be better.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Joint Area Dean, Havant
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC