Dear Friends and Neighbours,
January is not one of my favourite months. The merriment and celebration of Christmas is fading fast and the optimism of the New Year, along with the New Year’s resolutions never seem to last very long. We are entering what I think often feels like a kind of no mans land, awaiting the Spring and warmer weather but yet still in the midst of the cold and often dark of winter.
But… and but is such a wonderful word… in the midst of the dark and the cold, new life is beginning. It won’t be long until we see the tiny shoots of snowdrops, and the beginnings of buds on the trees and we begin to hope. God knew what he was doing when he designed our world with seasons; each season has its importance and its place. I don’t profess to understand it but there’s something that happens during the winter months that enables new growth in the Spring.
We also have different seasons in our lives, and it’s when the season is hard, dark or cold that we particularly need to look for hope. I wonder if you remember the Dogs Trust campaign from a few years ago? “A dog is for life not just for Christmas.” Well I think that’s true of Jesus too…. Jesus is for life not just for Christmas. The God who gave us Jesus that first Christmas did not take back his gift. Jesus was and still is the hope for the world, and a light in our times of darkness. Jesus came at Christmas as a gift of hope and new life, a gift for each one of us; all we have to do is say, “thank you, I receive you” and that new life and hope becomes ours too. That means that no matter how bleak the season, signs of hope can always be found.
Whatever season you are in I pray that you may know the hope of Jesus, and just as we look for signs of Spring in Winter, I pray that you will be able to see signs of hope and of His new life in and around you.