Dear Friends & Neighbours,
Happy New Year to you all !
We’re a month into the New Year already… and I wonder how many New Year resolutions have been kept so far and how many have already been forgotten ?
The New Year for most of us brings with it the hope and expectation of better things to come. Most of us who make New Year’s resolutions do so in the hope of becoming; fitter healthier, happier, more fulfilled people. We make resolutions to eat more healthily, to exercise more, to look after ourselves better, perhaps to take up a new hobby or interest, perhaps to read more, to keep in touch better with friends and family. All great aspirations, all in the hope that the year will be better and richer than the one before and that we will be happier people as a result. I don’t know about you, but often when I’ve made a resolution and then failed to keep it… I feel yet again that I’ve failed and the hope of things being different gradually slips away. Sometimes no matter how much we prepare or plan or think we’ve got everything sorted, things just slide, and we can be left wondering what we can do to change things.
In the Bible we’re given a lovely picture of a situation where things were going badly wrong until Jesus stepped in.
Not long after Jesus had begun His ministry telling people the Good News of God’s love, He, His mother and His friends were invited to a wedding. The wedding was in Cana, a town in the province of Galilee. Just like today, weddings in Israel at Jesus’ time were big events although these wedding celebrations often went on for days. The whole of the local community as well as all the family would have been invited… it was a very big deal. Everything would have been meticulously prepared and planned, so imagine the horror for the father of the bride the host to be told that the wine had run out! Mary, Jesus’ mother, realising what had happened and knowing that it was in His power to help… asked Jesus to ‘do something’. Jesus called the hosts butler and took him to where six huge stone jars were standing; they were full (around a hundred litres in each) of ordinary water to be used for ceremonial washing. Jesus told the butler to draw some water and take it the master of the banquet to taste. The water had turned into wine! Not only had the water become wine but it was the very best and the richest of wines. Jesus had turned something very ordinary into something extraordinary … and in doing so He had not only saved the wedding party, but He’d also saved the reputation of the host.
Jesus had turned something ordinary into something very special… He can do the same for us … He can transform the ordinariness of our everyday lives into something wonderfully special, rich and extraordinary… and He longs to do that for each one of us.
Perhaps the best resolution we can make or at least explore at the beginning of this New Year is… how we can learn to trust Jesus with our lives… so that He can turn our ordinary into something extraordinary. Jesus was and is all about transforming people and lives… so that we would be to flourish. As He said .. His words reported in St John’s gospel (taken from the Amplified version)… “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows.”
I hope 2022 will be a good, a blessed and a rich year for each one of us.