What now?

It’s finally over. The tree’s packed away for another year. The chocolates are eaten (at least in my house). The presents are put away or in some cases sold via E-Bay as soon as granny is safely back home.  Now we have a new year to face and what does it look like?

To be honest the people I have spoken to are not exactly full of optimism as they look ahead. Continued war in Ukraine with no end in sight. The on-going war in Gaza which threatens to explode into a full scale Middle East conflict. Here in the UK many people are struggling to pay bills and mortgages. Sadly food banks are as busy as ever. Our government seems beset with crises and of course we will have the joy of a general election where no doubt the nation will be  promised paradise on Earth.

The question is who can solve all these issues and indeed can anybody do so?  Most of us are wise enough to be wary of simplistic answers and yet we still yearn for someone to lift the weight and the worry from us. The bible does offer an answer, but it is not a simplistic one.  Its long term answer is that a day will come when all injustice and suffering will be removed. This will happen when Jesus returns to judge the world, but what about now?  Jesus made two statements to give us all courage and hope in the meantime. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28). He also said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).

Notice that he doesn’t promise to take away all of our problems, but he promises to be with us in them, giving us support and strength. He also promises to those who follow him that beyond death lies eternal life with him. The year ahead may bring many challenges politically and personally, but with Jesus at our side we can face them with hope knowing that he has our back.