Over recent weeks there has been huge turmoil, resulting from the EU referendum, and as I write politicians are leaving their respective parties. Most other news seems to have melted in to the background, except perhaps the muddiest Glastonbury ever! It seems an age ago since there were numerous events to celebrate the birthday of our Queen, her long reign and the manner in which she has indeed endeavoured to be ‘Defender of the faith’. With the current unrest in mind, I would like to take you back one final time to the Queen and her Christmas message, and bring a spot of hope and light!. She has talked of her faith and how he belief in and trust in God has carried her through the challenges and joys that have been hers. She has also encouraged others to find out about the God she worships, and invited her hearers to place their trust in Him and in his Son Jesus.
In a book published by the Bible Society especially for the celebration this year, there are snippets of the Christmas messages from over the years and the Queen herself has written at the front of the book using words from the poem by Minnie Haskins which has become so connected with the Royal Family…
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.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
I think most of us are fairly familiar with those words, but the poem continues and it may well be that this second part might just be for you at this moment. For there are times in our lives when we are not quite sure of the next step, we believe everything is in God’s hands but sometimes we wish we could see the path ahead a little more clearly.. have a read, I hope these words will bring comfort, together with the words of Jeremiah 29.11
‘For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.
These words I believe can of course fit many a situation, but maybe they are particularly relevant for this moment in history. And finally, have a look at Psalm 46 ( God is our refuge and strength…..)
Rev Michelle Ireland