Notes from The Orchard January 2017

I have always found the celebration of New Year on a particular day which might be any day of the week, where the only important thing appears to be a change of number, somewhat confusing. . .


As a child, in my family it was never celebrated except by my father.  My mother, my sister and I went to bed early, fearing the return of my father from his alcoholic celebrations with friends in a club in Wales.  There it seemed there to be a purely masculine thing:  women were not involved.  We lay awake, all together in one bedroom, listening to the hooters blaring from the steelworks and wondering in some state of fear how intoxicated a state would envelop my father on his return. . .


As I grew up, I began to think whether it was altogether a wise idea to welcome in the year which might be my last!  I therefore decided it was better to thank God for the year which was finishing. . . That seemed a much better plan: at least I knew what had already happened and it was a year which I had survived.


But looking at 2016, maybe it would be worth considering a toast to 2017 as 2016 stands out as an extraordinary year (on the not-very-good-side).   It all depends of course on your point of view.


However, having achieved the grand old age of 81 (considered young by some in this part of England where many people live well into their 90s) I can recommend the conclusion that the best thing to do is to pay little attention to the days as they fly by except for one day:  the one you live now.  You get up in the morning and whatever problems lurk on the doorstep, you can cope with them just for that one day  with Gods help.  You can then go to bed, sleep another night and when you get up the next morning, you only have one more day to handle the waiting jobs and then you can sleep again.  Everything not completed can be put in Gods hands  for he is so wonderful at sorting things - if you let him!


Now: when you wake up on Sunday morning, the first day of the week, it will also be the first day of the New Year.  Let us pray that it will be a good one where each of us can play a part in promoting the way of love, kindness, and truth  in fact, promoting the way of Jesus Christ.


Happy New Year to everyone and may God bring us safely to its end!


Sarah Bell

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."


Minnie Louise Haskins

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