That first Christmas started with a young couple making a difficult journey and having to trust God with every step along the way. And, day by day, as I walked through the streets and fields, talking and praying with people who joined me, and sometimes walking alone, I was aware that I was part of the continuing journey of God’s people. A journey on which we constantly rest on God’s promises, and look ahead to the time when all those promises will be fulfilled.
Some of us feel uncertain about the New Year and what it will hold for us personally. As you reflect on the year that has passed, may I encourage you to reach out to God as part of your journey in 2017? We may also feel unsettled by the uncertainty of Brexit and the US presidential elections. In the face of an uncertain future, we look at our leaders and ask ourselves, “Can these men and women really lead us to a life of prosperity and peace?” The Gospel of John holds a verse of great hope: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.
In the midst of uncertainty and personal danger, I can testify to the fact that God will never leave us or forsake us. God will always show us a way ”“ as he has done in sending Jesus, his Son, to forgive us all that separates us from God and from each other and lead us into new life. We do not travel alone and God’s promise to us in Jesus is to be with us throughout. Friends, this is not a pie crust promise ”“ easily made and broken. There is nowhere God’s love cannot abound; in prison, in war zones, in refugee camps, in areas of acute hunger, in hospitals and hospices, in isolation, in loneliness, in despair, in mental illness, and even in our lives’ last journey ”“ the journey through death.