By the time you read this Christmas will be over and the New Year with all its hopes and possibilities will be just getting underway.
When I was a boy I associated the period between Christmas and New Year with writing “Thank You” letters. Mainly to several kind elderly aunties who had sent me Christmas presents. I remember it being a bit of a chore as a child and when I became a parent I found out that the next generation of children found it much the same. I guess now instead of the old “pen and paper” method children (and adults) can say thanks for their Christmas presents by text, email or even Facebook and Twitter!! Much quicker but hopefully none the less sincere.
As Christians we are encouraged to always give thanks – and that is right. Unlike with the “labour intensive” thank you letters of childhood, scripture encourages us to be joyful in our gratitude. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make it our New Year resolution always to remember to give thanks to God daily for the good things in our lives.
Often you also find that a grateful heart produces the strength to bear the not so good things in life better than a resentful one. Let us, at the start of 2018, take the words of St Paul in his letter to the Colossians as our template of thanksgiving for the year ahead and pray that it will be a fulfilling one in our own lives and in the life of our church. Also we pray for a peaceful and hopeful year ahead in the life of our nation and our world.
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)
Marion joins me in wishing you all a happy and peaceful New Year.