It’s a strange question. “How did you get over the Christmas?” It conjures up the image of an obstacle course that has to be negotiated with some determination and effort, I hope that wasn’t your experience of the season. It is true to say that Christmas can be hard work, and I don’t just mean the phrenetic shopping excursions and the culinary preparations. Christmas brings families together, and while that can be a joyous and love filled time it can also be a tense and fraught time. Siblings who can co-exist from a distance can often experience the enforced bonhomie of the season as a little too close for comfort, sibling rivalry has a long shelf life. That said, I hope your experience was an altogether more positive and happier one, and your gathering as a family an enriching time.
Time marches on…….
It seems like yesterday when the new millennium began, all the crazy talk of planes falling from the skies, computers crashing and chaos ensuing proved little more than scaremongering. It was lucrative scaremongering for the IT experts who cashed in on people’s fears and ‘fireproofed’ computer systems against a fire that was never going to happen, at least someone made hay while the sun shone.
It's now 2019 and time trundles onward. Global conflicts still blight our world, the spectre of terrorism is an ever-present reality and danger, and catastrophes of the natural and man-made varieties still burst on to our TV screens with frightening regularity. Global warming may have given us a balmy Christmas but the long-term effects are altogether more worrying.
World leaders who twitter and politicians who play to the gallery in many western countries do little to inspire confidence that somebody is in control. The repressive Chinese leadership and the Stalin-like Putin in the Kremlin coupled with the unpredictable North Korean regime all contribute to a climate of instability. Add Brexit to the stew and the result is definitely unpalatable.
The Christian virtue of hope is something we desperately need to cling on to. Hope enables us to face the future with a deep inner confidence, not a ‘whistling past the grave yard’ confidence, but a real and deep seated assurance that ultimately it is God who is in control. With that quality of hope we can have pep in our step despite uncertainties of human life. Who knows what 2019 will hold for any one of us, let alone the whole world. With faith in our creator we can and will cope with whatever knocks on our door.
In 2019 why not come early to church and avoid the Christmas rush!
You’re always welcome.
“The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Book of Numbers 6:24-26)
Happy New Year.
Fr. Philip Curran