It’s been an interesting year.
I’ve heard it said a number of times in these dog days after Christmas and before the dawn of the new year. We don’t really know what to say about this year which has induced such a maelstrom of emotions.
The war in Syria, the genocide in Aleppo, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, a seemingly unending list of well loved celebrities dying, not to mention continuing public funding cuts and a continuing mental health care crisis in the UK.
For many, and for me personally, 2016 has not been an easy year as new mental health challenges have emerged and as it ends it can be difficult to know how to respond. It’s hard to be thankful as I look back at the craters this year has left.
The words of T.S Elliott ring true in these last days of the year.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
If the language and words of this year have been confusion and mistrust; I want to open 2017 with a new voice that speaks of something more.
I want 2017 to speak words which inspire hope.
Words that learn from a year of turbulence and seek truth.
Words that see the wonder of God in the midst of mess and mire.
My prayer for this year is not one which discounts the year that has passed; it’s one that is thankful for an unchanging God in the midst of such turbulence and trusts in God through whatever comes in 2017.
Psalm 31 proclaims:
“Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.”
If 2016 has been a year under siege; we have seen the wonders of His love despite it all and we can trust that 2017 is already in his hands.
Because haven’t we seen the greatest wonder of God’s love through His Son arms stretched wide taking our sin to the grace and welcoming us home?
The wonder of 2016 is found in the God who is unchangeable.
As the curtains fall on 2016 and they rise on 2017, I pray with a new voice that we will remember the wonders of God’s love through all that has gone before and that trusts in the God of all wonders and love for the days to come.