As I contemplate the year ahead, I am aware of having very different hopes from those of previous years. Much more modest hopes; to have visitors to my house; to see my family when I wish; to travel freely; or to simply be a bit more relaxed when out and about……and the list goes on. Of course, any other year I would just have taken these things for granted.
And for many, their hopes for the year ahead will be focused on something more fundamental still; will I have a job or enough money to feed the family this month; will my business survive?
I suspect almost all of us would say that our sense of what really matters has shifted as this past year has jolted us back to a reality we so easily forget in the good times, which is that life is actually quite fragile. Some will have grown in resilience but many others will be feeling quite vulnerable, particularly as we acknowledge the longer term consequences of the pandemic, both to our economy and the toll it has taken in family life, mental health and other ways which affect the fabric of our communities.
As we look ahead into this new year, most of us I suspect will be clear about the things we long to put behind us; lockdowns for example. But what about good things that have may have emerged for us, from the past year, that we don’t want to lose - perhaps stronger support networks or a shift in our priorities, a clearer realisation of what really matters in our lives. Or is it simply a sense that together we are stronger; our family, friends and local community all matter just a bit more to us than perhaps a year ago?
The lines of Minnie Louise Haskins were made famous by George VI in his 1939 Christmas message at the outbreak WW2:
And 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.”
These lines are often quoted at the start of a New Year and yet this year seem to have more resonance as we face an uncertain future. In the coming months if you think that the church may be able to offer help or support to you or others please do not hesitate to be in touch. My prayer this year is that we may all begin to know a renewed sense of hope.
Wishing you a happy and hope filled New Year.
With love and prayers Jane
Revd Jane Burgess (Rector)
www.parishofcorfemullen.church firstname.lastname@example.org 01202602948 www.facebook.com/StNicsCorfeMullen Services: 8am St Hubert, 10am St Nicholas and live on utube ‘parish of Corfe Mullen’ or phone line 0333 011 0616 and access code : 558 7311