VIEWPOINT: Bishop of Lancashire's New Year Message

The Westmorland Gazette: Rt Rev. Julian Henderson Bishop of Blackburn Rt Rev. Julian Henderson Bishop of Blackburn

As the Bishop of Blackburn I am delighted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a ‘Happy New Year’ as we enter into 2014.

But we all probably mean something different than what we hear those words to say.

That everything will go smoothly and without an upset.

That we will avoid illnesses and bereavements.

That we will have enough money coming in to manage okay.

That nothing will happen to throw us off course and make us sad.

But life is not like that. It never is and never will be free of difficulty and only for our convenience and comfort.

So as I wish you a ‘Happy New Year’, I mean something more … that we shall not hope for what we want and desire, but be eager to know and do the will of God in our lives, to fulfil His purpose for us, whatever that may be.

For it is in putting Him and His Word at the centre of our lives, that we will find peace and joy and happiness.

The words of the famous hymn puts it very starkly: Father hear the prayer we offer; not for ease that prayer shall be, But for strength that we may ever, live our lives courageously.

Not for ever in green pastures do we ask our way to be; But the steep and rugged pathway may we tread rejoicingly.

And that is what I mean when I wish you a ‘Happy New Year’

Rt Rev. Julian Henderson Bishop of Blackburn, Church of England



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