Saturday, December 31, 2022

Entering 2023

Every New Year, for the 21 years I was minister, I led a Watch Night Service to see the New Year in.  In Blackburn there was a Church Social first followed by a short service, with reflection and fresh commitment. My portable radio was barely audible until Big Ben struck when I turned the volume up for the chimes to ring out. Happily we greeted each other and then processed outside.  Streets of terraced houses packed tightly around the church. Facing these neighbours we let rip with 'The Lord's my Shepherd.'  It was a memorable way to begin the new year.

Though the hymnbook  used during those 21 years had a section of hymns specifically for the Old and New Year we rarely sang any of them. But looking through I thought the words of this one is worth repeating as we enter 2023.  It has a deep seriousness, shared with many of these hymns. No bubbly enthusiasm here!  And, yes, it does have Thees and thous etc. Written by L. Tuttiettt (1825-97).

Father let me dedicate 

All this year to Thee,

In whatever worldly state 

Thou wouldst have me be;

Not from sorrow, pain, or care

Freedom dare I claim;

This alone shall be my prayer

 "Glorify Thy name,"

If Thou callest to the cross,

And its shadow come,

Turning all my gain to loss,

Shrouding heart and home:

Let me think how Thy dear Son 

To His glory came

And in deepest woe pray on, 

"Glorify Thy name."

If in mercy Thou wilt spare

Joys that yet are mine,

If on life, serene and fair, 

Brighter rays may shine, 

Let my glad heart, while it sings,  

In all proclaim:

And whate'er the future brings, 

"Glorify Thy name."

So, quite a challenge! To enter 2023 saying "Glorify Thy name" whatever happens.  May this be a year knowing God's love on every step of your journey.   

No comments: