Our Lord and our God. We rejoice in Thee. Without Thy Help we could not face unafraid the year before us.
We stand between the years. The Light of God’s presence is flung across the year to come and backwards over the past year.
Dwell not on the past-only on the present. Use the past as the trees use sunlight to absorb it, storing the blessings from God as if warming fire-rays. Bury the fear of the future, of poverty, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thoughts of unkindness, bitterness, resentments, failure, and disappointment in others and in yourself, let us leave them all, buried and go forward in this ‘New Year’ to a new and risen life.
Let us trust God to hold the year in God’s hands, to guide us to see the world as God sees. Let us not anticipate the gift of fears or thoughts of the year ahead but be filled by wisdom and strength from God’s gentle and life giving Spirit.
Love bade me welcome,
yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love,
observing me grow slack.
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly
If I lack’d anything. (George Herbert)
Love which speaks of forgiveness and acceptance – the key to banishing anxious moods of the year ahead. Poems force us into the present moment, stop us from worrying about the future or regretting the past an antidote to stress. In prison where I worked before coming here, poetry workshops were used alongside the chaplaincy, the mental health charities; Depression Alliance and Mind.
Philip Emery the Director of ‘Changing Tunes’ and Ricky are joining us in a Joint Benefice Communion Service on February 1st at St Peter’s Church at 11am. Ricky will talk about his experiences and engagement with music through this charity, that has enabled him not to re-offend and have a life after prison. www.changingtunes.org.uk
‘Happy New Year!’