There is something about a new year that invites us all to take the opportunity to make a new start, to take control of our lives and begin to try and shape the future. Taking control of our lives is easier said than done.
Shaping the future may well be virtually impossible, simply because life is totally unpredictable. So much of what happens in the future is determined by circumstances created by the vagaries of power politics, or the fragility of our planet and our humanity.
Although we know all these things it doesn’t stop us from searching after stability, security and an inner knowledge that all will be well. The ancients looked to the skies for guidance and direction. Astrologers studied the stars because it was believed the movement of the planets affected life on earth. Knowing what the future might hold has always been of great interest and importance to us. Science fiction finds itself caught up in the conundrum of time travel asking questions about the possibility of correcting the future by visiting the past. The human condition seems to be that we cannot settle until we have found a way to live with uncertainty so we keep searching for meaning.
Perhaps a new start for most of us is more about learning how to navigate our way through life rather than trying to shape it. This month Sanctuary First is going to pick up the theme “Searching”. We’re hoping that we can learn something from the story of the Magi searching out a Messiah, or the story of Mary and Joseph searching for their lost child. The theme of searching can be found in so many different scriptural contexts. What does the Psalmist or the Hebrew poet mean when speaking of God searching our hearts. These will be some of the topics we will use to launch our exploration of faith as we commence 2016.
All of us are searching for signs of hope in a world that seems to have become more dangerous the treat of violence and terrorism could break out on our streets at any time.
A year on from the outrageous attacks on Charlie Hebdo the sense of despair and fear still lingers in many people’s sub-conscious. Looking for signs of hope is what makes us human. Signs can help give us faith that things will get better.
The wisemen of old were following a star in search of a Messiah a leader that would bring order and peace into a world of turmoil and fear. Surely all of us who seek to follow Christ the Prince of Peace must commit ourselves to living out the signs of God Kingdom inner everyday lives.