May I wish you a HAPPY NEW…
…20thyear of the third millennium,
…20thyear of the 21stcentury,
Happy New (leap) Year!
This is the year that will celebrate the 200thanniversaries of the births of Florence Nightingale and Beethoven, whilst it’s 500 years since the death of Renaissance Master, Raphael. It will also be 75 years since some significant WWII events, including the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan – coincidentally the host country of the 2020 Olympic Games. And just in case you were having withdrawal pangs from any political campaigning, this year also promises a Presidential election in the USA – no further comment!
In one perspective, the date in time is arbitrary. We are much the same on Wednesday 1stJanuary 2020 as we were on Tuesday 31st December 2019 and if there were any change it would be unrelated to the calendar – except in accounting for a few sore heads, I guess! And yet, the New Year inevitably has the effect of lifting our gaze, even momentarily, from our day-to-day rhythm to look towards the horizon. We are prompted to extend our perspective, to look beyond the now, to what might be possible across a larger timescale. Depending on the prospect, we may be filled with foreboding or excitement. As the year 2020 opens a new decade too, we may choose to dream beyond the horizon.
Whilst looking ahead, remembering past anniversaries serves as a reminder of the good times and the endurance through adversity that will undoubtedly be evident in every year to come too. God’s people in the Bible held to the spiritual discipline of recalling anniversaries to repeatedly remind them of God’s faithfulness, provision and deliverance: His good shepherding of them. He was good in the past, good today, and will be enduringly good regardless of what the future holds.
In Parish life this year, the room above the office will have been transformed by the end of this month (come and take a look!) and it is envisaged that this will be a foretaste of what can be accomplished in the regeneration of the St Matt’s church building. We can glean confidence from God’s faithfulness in providing for regeneration of both St Thomas a Becket and St Matt’s churches in the past, to give us hope for His provision now and in the future.
As we begin this year, we begin having just recalled God with us: Emmanuel. And by His Spirit, He will be with us until the end of the age, remaining our faithful deliverer and perfect provider.
May I wish each of you a blessed new year, and new decade!
With love from Jenny x