I recall as a very young boy creeping out in the snow of 1963 and trying to walk in my late Father’s footsteps, trying to give the illusion no one had been outside the house, unlike the story of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore who just saw more and more footprints as they went around the tree!
I have been looking through some of my old diaries where I have written down a new line every day, something which I have been doing for the last few years. It was on 1st January 2019 I wrote down the first verse of ‘Be thou my vision’, it could be used as a new year prayer for us in 2024.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art; be Thou my best thought in the day and the night, both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.
The challenges we face in 2024, will be the same each time we pass from the old year to the new. We will grieve with those who have lost friends and loved ones, and we will also praise God for his great love and faithfulness. I am always on the lookout for new worship songs and here is one below from Sovereign Grace music group who are writing new hymns for the Church today, this one is called ‘All praise to him’.
All praise to Him whose love is seen. In Christ the Son, the Servant King. Who left behind His glorious throne. To pay the ransom for His own. All praise to Him Who humbly came. To bear our sorrow, sin, and shame. Who lived to die, who died to rise. The all-sufficient sacrifice.
It is my prayer that this year like other years we will never stop meeting up for worship as we are encouraged to do in Hebrews 10 v 25, ‘And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near’. (NLT)
Finally, can I encourage us to pray for one another in Northampton Methodist Church. As part of my mission enabler role, on our last Sunday service on Sunday 31st December 2023, I urged us to pray for just one minute a day for the Church in Northampton. I suggest we could pray for the Church at twenty-four minutes past the hour of our choice, we could put a reminder on our phones or write it down on a piece of paper as a reminder. Imagine if everyone were praying for one minute for a whole year what might happen.
When I first started writing the ministers letter, I promised a photograph at the end of each letter, this one is from 2023.
Happy New Year
Blessings from Revd Ian J Forsyth