Happy New Year?

Sunday 7th January 2024

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy New Year?
What will this new year hold for you?  Will it be happy, or perhaps better than happy?  Will it be sad, or even worse than sad?  Or will it be somewhere in the middle?  The truth is, we don’t know.  And that uncertainty can lead us to be anxious.  If only we knew what was going to happen, and when, we could at least plan for it.

It should steady us, then, to remember that there is one thing we can be sure of – or rather one person – and that is Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t change, and will never change – ever (note the subtle and almost unconscious statement that he is forever, and therefore eternal, and therefore divine).

What is it about Jesus not changing that brings you most comfort?  Here we could reflect on what we were considering over the Christmas period.  We saw that, among other things, Christmas means truth, love, rest, light, life, family, freedom.  Christmas means these things because Jesus’ coming brings these things.

To all who believe in him, Jesus brings the truth about God, the knowledge that we are loved by God, rest from all our striving to win God’s acceptance, light in the darkness of our world, life with God and beyond death, belonging to God’s family as his children and freedom from condemnation.  All these things are for ever, and none of them will or can ever be taken away from us, because they are God’s gifts to us in his Son.  Our appreciation of them will only grow larger.

Which of these gifts means the most to you?  Why not stop now and thank God for that particular gift of Christmas?

Which of these gifts do you most need to ‘unwrap’ and make your own?  Why not pause again and ask God to make this gift real to you.

Father, thank you for the truth, love, rest, light, life, family and freedom that we have in your Son Jesus; may these gifts, each one of them, be ever more real to us.  Amen.

Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister)