I said to the man who stood a 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 a light and safer than a known way.’
(Minnie Haskins, The Desert, 1908)
These are the words with which King George VI ended his Christmas day broadcast in 1939. We were at the start of the Second World War and he used these words to encourage his listeners to put their trust in the ‘Almighty Hand’ of God.
We are not embroiled in a world war, but 2011 has challenges of its own for many people. Our forces are still in Afghanistan, there are sweeping financial cuts taking place and far too many fractured and broken families.
If we are to face all those problems it does take faith. People often imagine that Christian faith is about having certainty. Certainty is actually the opposite of faith, since it is about hanging on in there when we are not sure how we do so.
St Mark tells the story of a father who asks Jesus to try and cure his sick son. Jesus tells him to have faith. The father cries out in response, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24) I’m sure most of us know exactly how that father felt. We try very hard to believe, but often struggle to do so.
It takes faith to go out into the darkness when you can’t see. When George VI gave his broadcast nobody knew that Britain was actually going to win, so it took courage to believe that we would not be overrun. In 2011 we need similar faith to believe that the future does belong to God and that we can be confident of His love.
A happy new year to you all, Father Michael.
Posted By: valerie