Dear People of God.
Receive warm greetings from myself and family. Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It seems like a long time since we shared the joyous new year greetings, happy new year. I trust you are well and inspired by the New Year and strengthened by the circuit covenant service blessings during the beginning of the New Year. We recently emerged from an incredibly challenging period of the year, and to be honest, it has not been an easy year for many people. Things have been rough and with huge mistakes leading to global weather disasters among other catastrophes. It is the first time during my stay in the United Kingdom that I have had to dress in many thermal layers, top and bottom, making the sunshine a rare gem. As usual, we prayed like Jesus ‘’father take this cup away’’. I wish that the cold season will not reappear too soon again. Of course, these were just wishes. Although in the back of my mind I am aware there are many people who enjoy such type of weather, this is not therefore a complaint about the weather, but my experiences of the typical winter weather in England during the advent and Christmas season. We praise the Lord in all things. Can we take courage that things that some enjoy, others will find them a challenge. In life, it is learning to adapt, and I have now learnt to prepare for different weather patterns in the future.
Moving away from weather commentaries, prophet Isaiah, offers some insight on possibilities in life. We learn in this life, that we should not just focus on the difficulties and overlook doors of potential possibilities, including opportunities that may come calling. In our luminous journey during the few years, we have learnt together to trust in the will of God even when things do not go our way. We take courage into the New Year trusting that God is doing something new, out of the wilderness, deserts, and in all circumstances, God is at work In Isaiah as we read.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isa 43:18-19)
These words offer hope and inspires whoever is reading them. The temptation is trying to concentrate on things that seem difficult and ignore new doors of opportunities that await unlocking. Just like John Newton, the composer of amazing grace, you might discover that you also require a strong nudge from God to change not just commitments, but also, your resolutions for the year. Jeremiah reminds us that God’s intention for everyone is for the best.
‘’For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Recently, the world marked the world cup tournament hosted by Qatar. While Christians around the world marked advent, Christmas Carols and Christmas festivities. Similarly, Christians around the world celebrated the 250 years of anniversary for the hymn, Amazing Grace by John Newton.
Methodist people observed the New Year covenant service and rededication of their lives to God. When reflecting on ‘our journey this far’, I wonder what you think you ought to do to make things better than they were before? Someone said, people make resolutions which often do not get off the ground, or see the light of the day, as some of them eventually get aborted within days, weeks, or even a few months down the journey. Therefore, I am suggesting a journey of stopping points to allow one an opportunity to audit the progress of the journey and strategically plan the next step.
We find Jesus making a specific stopping point during some of his missionary journeys as found in the verse below.
‘Tired as he was from the journey and sat down by the well.
It was about noon’ (John 4:6).
As we move into the future, let us look forward by trusting in the guidance of God. An old African song might suit our commitment to God for the new year. The hymn, ‘We are walking in the light of God’’, can be one of our inspiring slogans. I wonder then, if you were to give thanks to God, for the year, and you were to put into a song reflecting your experiences, what would that music look like? John Newton (1725-1807) hymn, the ‘’amazing grace’, was composed to express his gratitude for his conversion after the challenging night of his shipwreck. Hopefully, we can have something like this to serve as a pointer for God’s presence in the year.
I wish you and everyone, God’s blessing for a happy and prosperous New Year.
Your fellow servant in Christ