From the Vicarage
From the Vicarage
for ‘Church and Town’ — January 2020
Title: The Gate of the Year
On Christmas Day 1939, King George VI addressed the nation and the British Empire. Speaking live on the BBC from Sandringham, at the first Christmas of the Second World War, the King wanted to offer a message of reassurance. He spoke of Christmas as the festival of peace. It was a message the whole world needed to hear, for Jesus Christ came into this world as the Prince of Peace; into a dark and dangerous world that was broken then, just as it is now.
King George knew that peace was at the very heart of the Christian faith. And he knew that Britain herself was built on and shaped by Christian values. Indeed, in this very broadcast he said, “On no other basis can a true civilisation be built.”
The King also knew that peace came at great cost. He referred to the colonies of the Empire as “a family of nations which is prepared to sacrifice everything that freedom of spirit may be saved to the world.” The God who made us knows this cost too; for in Jesus, God gave himself for our freedom. His death on the cross opened the way for us to be at peace with him.
In this broken and troubled world we must pray persistently for peace. It’s a prayer we can pray with confidence, for we know that Jesus has gone before us. At the beginning of this new year, we cannot possibly know what the future holds; but we can know who holds the future.
King George VI concluded his first wartime Christmas broadcast with lines from this poem by Minnie Louise Haskins.
I said to the man who stood at 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 light and safer than a known way.”
This year, at the beginning of 2020, why not put your hand into the hand of God? If you do, I promise you will never look back; nor will you need to.
Please see the latest letter from the
Walton Foodbank here