Footnote to 2018 (Thought for January 2019)

January 6, 2019

in Monthly comment

I have just re-read my Editorial for Connect, January 2018. It usually falls on me, which I consider a privilege, to write the first editorial of the year for our magazine. There I reflected on 2017, as well as looked ahead into what is now the last year. This year I would like to offer a footnote to 2018 — to look back again, thanking (again) God for His faithfulness to us.

He was pleased to give us good times. The baptismal classes that we looked forward to now are behind us. In His kindness, the Lord was pleased to use these, and one way we saw this as a fellowship was when we baptised Alison. What an encouragement — God still saves today! Alison and Jason joined us in membership in December, and how pleased we were to welcome them. Before that, we had the joy of celebrating Matt & Dani’s wedding; as far as I was concerned they were my ‘guinea pigs’ — my first wedding conducted on British soil, and only my second ever, so I’m not sure if them or I was more nervous. But what a joyful day. And of course we welcomed Dani to membership as well.

Yet, of course, 2018 had its fair share of hardship. We said goodbye, for now, to our dear brother Rick, in the sure hope of his salvation in Jesus and therefore his resurrection to eternal life on the last day. We mourn in hope, encouraging one another, and Katie, Harry and Rachel in particular, with these truths (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). There have been illnesses and accidents, in God’s providence on occasions leading to drastically life-altering consequences. Let us remember Pete and Sue, David and May, who find themselves precisely in these situations.

How has our Lord been towards His people through it all? At work. In providence — whether joyful or hard, all things came from His good and righteous hand. In faithfulness — He never left or forsook us, not even for a moment. Always working His purposes out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28); never absent, always active, always on the throne. And so looking back to 2018, with these Biblical spectacles on, we take heart and courage, and perhaps excitement in looking forward to 2019. What has the Lord got in store for us? Our hope is not in all the good things that He may bring our way, but that what-ever He may bring our way, His faithfulness, goodness, kindness, favour towards those who are His own is unchanging. We are marching together, under His banner, towards eternity, that glorious, eternal day of rest that Christ has won for us. Each day, we are closer to that ultimate reality.
Happy 2019, dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ. May we experience Him to the fullest this year.

In Him,



January 2019

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