The inevitable media ‘reviews’ of 2018 will as usual highlight the major events of the closing year, and what a year it’s been! Politically there’s no doubt that ‘Brexit’ has dominated the scene and is certainly going to dominate most of the New Year well after 29th March when we leave the EU. Across the pond President Trump faced his midterms election with his usual self-confidence but didn’t have it all his own way. New revelations about the Russian probe will have a whole nation waiting to see how their President will respond, after all it can’t be ‘fake news’ all the time! In the sporting world our own Geraint Thomas rightly lifted the BBC sports personality of the year trophy and with a vacancy for manager at Manchester United – well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The same is true in our own lives. It’s the time of year when we look back and hopefully look forward as well. The ups and downs of the last year will come to mind along with some New Year resolutions to help us along. Last year may well have been a combination of times to remember and those this which happened we would prefer to forget. Occasions when everything went our way, of fun and friendship which made the last year one to remember. Then again illness, the loss of a loved one, a broken relationship or redundancy may have come our way casting a shadow and making the future seem uncertain.
2019 like every year is, of course, unchartered territory for us all. None of us know what even the next minute holds and yet there’s the sure promise that God is with us and we do not face the future alone. In his 1939 Christmas Day broadcast to a troubled nation King George VI concluded his nine-minute broadcast with a poem which must have brought encouragement and comfort to all who listened. For us, living in an uncertain world they remain words of hope and assurance. ‘I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” and he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.” May that same Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all this New Year.