Speer Road Church

(United Reformed Church)

Thames Ditton

The Last Word

Last word – January 2021

At New Year we think about the visit of the Wise Men to Jesus. I am sure we are familiar with the story, how they went on a journey and followed the star, going first to Herod and then on to Bethlehem. Then how they offered gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. We may have not thought much about their journey before just their arrival, but this year with people being discouraged from traveling anywhere, the journey seems more significant.

Probably most of us have taken travelling for granted. In our lifetimes we have seen an amazing revolution in travel. I can remember my parents talking with excitement about our first car a Ford 8 and would tell of how it struggled going up hills, how they managed to pack everything into it for a holiday and even took it to the Isle of Wight one year. I can remember standing on a station watching a steam train going out and a trip on an aeroplane being a very rare experience. Travel has become so much easier, but that has all changed because of Covid. It has made us realise how dangerous so much international travel is and wonder how that will affect journeys in the future.

We think of the Wise Men travelling on camels and making a journey not knowing where they were going. Traveling into 2021 feels a lot like that, we don’t know how the year will develop, we don’t know how long the pandemic will last, or when we will be able to make journeys again. Yet every year has its uncertainties and unknowns and the words that George VI quoted in his 1939 Christmas message from Minnie Hoskins poem “God Knows” are very poignant at this time:-

And 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 in the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So
I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

May you know God’s presence this Christmas and into 2021, Peter

Bless you,

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