2018 was a year of uncertainty and we are at the start of another year with even more uncertainty, nationally and globally. Uncertainty expects unpredictable change, and it seems that it is human nature (and that of commercial markets) not to care for such uncertainty.
If I have a New Year’s resolution this year, it is to live life ‘hopefully’ in 2019. Hope is a Christian virtue – a combination of desire for something with an expectation of receiving it.
St Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that “faith, hope and love” are the three Christian virtues that will last forever.
I once attended a leadership course when we were reminded that, when facing anything, if there was nothing else we could do, we could always change our “attitude” – look at the subject again from a new perspective, not be defeatist, dare to expect the best. And perhaps that is something which hope is about?
There is a prayer attributed to Mother Theresa of Calcutta, which I think is a pragmatic prayer about living life with hope and realism:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motive. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will wins some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and your God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
Have a Happy and Hopeful 2019. John
All Saints’ Church, Down Ampney
The Rev’d John Swanton
Services at All Saints’ Church
Sunday 6th January : Feast of the Epiphany
10.00am Parish Communion
Thursday 10th January: 2.00pm
Funeral of the late William (Bill) Smart
Sunday 13th January : The Baptism of Christ
10.00am Parish Communion : Harnhill
Sunday 20th January : 3rd Sunday of Epiphany
10.00am Parish Communion : Ampney Crucis
Sunday 27th January : 4th Sunday of Epiphany
10am Parish Communion at Poulton
No Coffee morning in January.
Alpha Course: Faith. Life. Meaning.
You are invited to taste and see the ‘Alpha Course’ at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th January in Poulton with supper, a video presentation and brief introduction to the course.
The Alpha Course is an introduction to the Christian faith. All are welcome.
Please do let the Vicar know if you are planning to come – for catering purposes.
Many thanks to all those who helped to clean and decorate the church for Christmas.
See Church website for more information – just Google ‘Ampney Vicar’ and it appears!
The Rev’d John Swanton
01285 – 85130