faithbook     A message for quiet meditation

by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany



Welcome to 2020, Happy New Year!  There’s something about the beginning of a new year that’s quite special.  We haven’t blotted our copy book yet, it lays before us, pristine, not an ink blot in sight.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Jeremiah 29 v 11.

I just love the verse above from Jeremiah; ‘I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with a hope.’

Isn’t that what we all want, not only for ourselves but for our families our community and the world, a future with hope?  Yet for so many that seems far away.  The world's richest 1% those with more than £1m, own 45% of the world's wealth.  Inequality is of course never right and the Bible does underline that, but is that what hope is about?  No doubt for many it is just that, but how about me, how about you, where is our hope for the future?

Being a church musician I have loved the playing and singing of hymns and worship songs all my life.  Hymns have changed drastically over the years, for me I like a mixture of old and new.  One of my now firm favourites is Stuart Townends ‘In Christ Alone’.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

The Jeremiah reading goes on with verse 12, ‘when you pray I will listen’ and 13, ‘If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.’  Let’s be encouraged this new year by these words. As long as God, who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us, we can have boundless hope.

God does not forget us, sometimes it feels as if he has, but he will always be there if we continue to seek him with confidence.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.