St Helens Methodist Church
St Helen’s Methodist Church
Ministers Letter for January 2021
Great is his faithfulness
There can’t be anyone among us who is not sorry to leave 2020 behind and begin a New Year. It has certainly been a year that will be remembered for all sorts of reasons, not least the coronavirus pandemic and the impact that this has had on all of our lives. Although some of us may feel that they would like to forget the past year altogether, this is not possible for the past stays with us: we carry bits of it into the future, rather like the snow we bring indoors on our boots on a winter’s day. Memories of past days, all that has happened to us and the people who are special to us will remain for they are part of what makes us who we are today.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to look back over the year that has ended and reflect on all we have experienced. As we remind ourselves of all that has happened, the people who have made a difference to our lives, the new things that we learnt and the changes that we made as we responded to the pandemic, we can give thanks to God for his mercy and goodness every day. We can also recall the more difficult days, disappointments and sadness of being unable to meet with friends and family or the sorrow we felt at the news that someone dear to us has died and give thanks to God for the strength he has given to us to survive hurt and sorrow.
As we begin a New Year this is a time to praise God for his unfailing love and faithfulness. As the Psalmist declares:
“I will sing unceasingly of your unfailing love, O Lord; I will declare your faithfulness to all generations. Your constant love is unchanged from the beginning of time, and your faithfulness as permanent as the heavens.” (Ps 89.1-2)
The Psalmist declares that through all life’s ups and downs the one thing that never changes is God’s unfailing love, which is unchanged from the beginning of all things and lasts forever. It’s a wonderful testimony echoed in the much loved words of the hymn-writer Thomas Chisolm:
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with Thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou has been Thou forever will be.
Even if we can’t meet and sing this hymn together it doesn’t stop us praising God for his love and faithfulness which has kept us going and supported us through the year that has passed. Knowing God’s constant love and faithfulness also gives us the confidence to say goodbye to the year that has passed and step out into 2021 with hope in our hearts.
No one knows what the New Year will bring but our experience of the past year has shown us that whatever comes our way, God will be with us in it, to the end of time and beyond.
May God bless you and keep you.
Revd Tricia Williams