Friday, 9 January 2015

Year of Light!

Happy New Year!

At Amersham Free Church, with such a large Scottish contingent within our congregation that, surely, becomes a significant greeting bringing back memories of Hogmanay and First Footing north of the border!

What do we already know about this New Year?

We know it is written as MMXV in Roman numerals, that it is the 2015th year of the Anno Domini (AD) or Common Era (CE) designations, the 15th year of the 3rd millennium and the 6th year of the 2010’s decade.

It’s also been decided by the United Nations General Assembly that 2015 is to be known as the Year of Light.  I got rather excited about that and its theological possibilities until I read a little further that the year’s full title is actually Year of Light and Light Based Technologies!

I grew up singing hymns at this time of year like ‘I know who holds the future’ and the assumption was always made that God has a Plan A for our lives – all we need to do is discover it.  I’m not sure I believe in that pre-determined, some might almost say pre-destined, future anymore.

2015 has some scientific certainties – so on March 20th, all things being equal, there will be a total solar eclipse.

2015 has some firm probabilities – so on July 14th the NASA spacecraft, New Horizons, is due to fly past the planet Pluto!

And 2015 has some hoped for possibilities – so if the Queen is blessed with good health and wakes up at Balmoral on September 10th she will become the longest serving British Sovereign of all time.

Yet I would suggest for most of us that 2015 will offer an exciting and daunting mixture of certainties, probabilities and possibilities.  What counts is the way we face both the worrying challenges and potential joys of this forthcoming year. 

God, who we sometimes describe as Alpha and Omega, is at once outside of time and yet, we dare to believe, somehow present in every moment.  We are not alone as we face the future because something of God’s goodness and love touches our pilgrimage through these days that are now before us.

And it’s not a bad aspiration to hope and pray that 2015 will indeed be a Year of Light!

Best wishes,

Ian

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