Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A New Year – Living in Hope by Peter A. Black

“And so, that was Christmas and how did it go . . .?” – to paraphrase John Lennon’s famous Christmas song. How it went for you and me may vary enormously from how it went for many others.

Original Source uncertain
Keeping Lennon’s haunting melody in mind, we could go on at length posing all sorts of questions: “And so it’s the New Year, and what will you do . . .?” Or, “And so it’s a new year and what will it bring?” and so on. We can plan for our future, but we have no guarantees of its unfolding exactly as planned. And yet, surely it’s good to live in hope.

I’m pecking away at the keyboard musing on these matters on the last day of 2018 – December 31st.  Television video clips from around the globe are displaying New Year Celebrations as the midnight hour successively strikes in national capitals.

All in all, my wife May and I were blessed with a pleasant and enjoyable Christmas, and are truly grateful. However, we have extended family, dear friends and colleagues who will remember this Christmas and New Year period as difficult and challenging.

This morning I received a call to provide the prelude and accompaniment music at the memorial service for a friend’s sister. May and I have also to sing at it. The lady’s death in the closing hours of 2018 was a shock. My friend (who will officiate) didn’t even know of his sister’s recent illness. And so, we plan to travel with him and his wife the three-and-a-half hour trip to the venue.

I don’t mention this to be morbid, but as an encouragement for us 
to live thoughtfully, not recklessly; 
to adopt a humility that’s not boastful 
about what we’re going to do,
and to urge a humility that, while hope-filled, 
will cause us to recognize our human frailty.

Along with hope and humility, let us also journey on with love. Now, that offers much scope, from wholesome relationships to practical caring about people in our lives and beyond.
May and I recently received an advance invitation to provide a program in music and word for senior adults in February, on the week of Valentine’s. 
Love is needful for quality of life, for the young and the old; 
from our first breath on exiting the womb 
and entering this crazily mixed-up world, 
until we draw our final breath
We accepted that invitation and, in good faith we plan in hope to fulfil it. Yes, faith.
Will you, will I, see the three-hundred-and-sixty-five days of 2019 through to their conclusion? Only God knows. Those enduring qualities of faith, hope and love will journey with us while we traverse the plains of life, if we cherish them in our hearts and exercise them daily.
Let us trust in Jesus, the locus and focus of our faith. 
He is the hope of our trusting hearts, and the lover of our souls.

Peter is a retired pastor  well, sort of retired – as he is currently engaged as an associate volunteer pastor. He lives in Southwestern Ontario with his wife, May, and writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column and occasional magazine articles. Peter is author of two books: "Parables from the Pond" (Word Alive Press) and "Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart" (Angel Hope Publishing). He and May are also engaged in leading nursing home / residential chapel services and music. ~+~

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