The Manse
Thursday 31st of December 2020

Oh, what a year that was…..

My dear friends of St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields – and to all who join us in fellowship and worship occasionally or regularly, across the continents.

Greetings at the end of the year and at the beginning of a new year to you and all in your family circles.

May I begin by thanking my friend and fellow minister Alex for his superlative ministering to you all, particularly over these past two months as I recuperate. I am so grateful. It is very much my hope that at the end of January I may be able to resume Ministry once more, dependent of course upon medical advice.

It was on this day 76 years ago as 1944 moved into 1945 that, in the late hours of the Old Year and the early ones of the New Year, Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his Berlin prison cell wrote the poem “Powers of Good”. 
The first and last verses are:

With every power of good to stay and guide me,
Comforted and inspired beyond all fear,
I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,
And pass with you into the coming year.

While all the powers of good aid and attend us,
Boldly we’ll face the future, come what may,
At even’ and at morn’ God will befriend us,
And oh, most surely, on each newborn day.

Those poignant words of a different era are, I believe, apt as 2021 stretches before us – with hope and promise, with healing and gratitude, with vaccine and new beginnings and, yes, with sad remembrance too: for these lines speak to us of God with us in times of pain and joy and for what life in all its diversity, complexity and beauty will always mean.

As the New Year begins I send you my very best wishes and commend you to God’s eternal embrace: for God will indeed go before us and lead us into new avenues of peace, of understanding, of hope, love and faith as we are reconciled one to another and walk into the year of grace 2021 – holding the hand of One who was born, died and rose again that we might have eternal life.

Go with God and entrust all you are and all you love to His mighty powers of good.

With every best wish
John