Dioc Logo

The start of another new year. January 1st 2017. We can only wonder at what will unfold this year after a turbulent 2016 that witnessed events that shook the world. The Brexit vote, Donald Trump as president –elect and, of course, Leicester City winning the premier league. Once in a life time events as the Bournemouth football fans cruelly reminded the Leicester city supporters last month.” Champions of England, you’re having a laugh!” They chanted.

To which the Leicester fans replied” champions of England, you’ll never sing that song!”

So we might wonder what song we as Christians, might want to sing this year. A song that would make a lasting difference in some small way to the world we live in because often we see the beginning of the new year as a time of promise and hope; a time of looking ahead to the future. This looking ahead goes way back when in history.

The ancient Babylonians, for example, would make promises to their gods to return borrowed objects and pay off debts in the new year whilst the Romans made promises to the god Janus to whom the name of the month January is derived. These ancient traditions have lived on to the present day in the form of New Years resolutions.

However the big problem with new year resolutions is that generally they are, more often than not, doomed to failure. Apparently 88% of resolutions fail because many of them are unrealistic, unachievable and perhaps a little too concerned with the self.

Perhaps they ignore the lessons of the past and instead just focus on a new year and a clean break. Don’t look back, move on, move forward to better things and better days.

I would suggest we look elsewhere for inspiration for the words of a song that we might sing as a church.

“ I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us”.

The words of Isaiah should ring as true for us today as to the original listeners to his word. These were most likely to be an audience in exile. The remnant of Israel relocated from Jerusalem to Babylon. Words that would bring them comfort and hope for the future.

For the verses we have listened to from Isaiah speak of the kindnesses, the compassion, the distress, the love and the mercy of the Lord. The Lord who lifted up and carried his people all the days of old.

Isaiah takes both  his readers and listeners back to the time when the Israelites were in Egypt.

Egypt, the land where Jacob and his sons were reconciled with Joseph, the son he thought had died. The land which allowed the tribes of Israel to settle before rejecting them and putting them to slavery. A people who cried out to God and a God who heard his people cry and through Moses, led them out of captivity in Egypt to freedom and redeemed them.

The past is of great importance to Israel. It is in many respects the essence of its very being, giving a sense of mission and identity but also a clear idea of the mission and identity of God.

The psalmist writes”sing to the Lord, praise his name, proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.”God is known through what he has done.

Furthermore, we gain an insight and understanding of the nature of God’s character as witnessed through the writers and people of the Old Testament which is expressed through their words.

Isaiah in the original Hebrew text uses a word pronounced “ Checed” which is difficult to fully translate its meaning into English. The King James Bible has a good stab at it and calls it “ lovingkindness”. But essentially it incorporates the concepts of a steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness goodness and devotion.

Checed reflects a consistency, a reliability and a commitment given by God to his people. A Checed that in effect began with God’s promises to Abraham and then later formalised in the Ten Commandments and the law delivered by Moses at Mount Sinai. The covenant with the Israelites.

It is a Checed that tells us that God will never renege on the agreement reached with his people.

So as we look on the history of Israel through the Old Testament, circumstances changed dramatically as the human side of the covenant was broken, yet God still spoke to his people through the prophets. God was still steadfast in his love.

Therefore, when God declares in Jeremiah that the time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel; the Checed of God is still there; for as God states

“I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people…..for I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more”

What else is God doing other than adapting his commitment to a change of circumstance.

Six hundred or so years after the times of Jeremiah, stories were told of a gathering of Jewish friends seated round a table in Jerusalem sharing a Passover meal, one of them takes a cup of wine after the supper and says “this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you”. This is the Christian story that continues to be told and celebrated by Christians throughout the world.

This is the continuing Checed of God which is enacted in the Eucharist which we shall shortly be celebrating today.

This is the continuing Checed of God which is seen on the cross. Jesus Christ, God’s only son, both fully God and fully man became our saviour through his suffering on the cross and by his love and mercy we are redeemed.

This is our song that we sing and live by.

. It is a song that we should never be tempted to take for granted. Behind it stands the weight of history and the continuing Checed of God . It is a song that comes from our inheritance from the Old Testament and binds us to the story of the people of God. It carries the past into the present and leads us into the future.

 

I was at a prayer meeting last month and at the beginning psalm 68 was read out. One of the verses particularly struck me.

, God leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a scorched land.

There is such a contrast between the two halves of the sentence. We see joy and happiness opposing discontent and a desert. Fulfilment and emptiness. Companionship and loneliness, freedom and captivity, hope and despair.these contrasts have not gone away. They are very real issues affecting many people today.

So as we look ahead to this coming year perhaps we should reflect and seek ways how our song can make a difference to people’s lives by Drawing on the wisdom of the gospel.Telling them of the kindnesses of the Lord in both what we say and do Bringing them out of their scorched land and enabling them to enjoy the Checed of God in a relationship with his son and our saviour,Lord Jesus Christ.

I wish you all A very happy new year

Amen.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  1. July 7, 2020

    I just want to tell you that I am very new to blogging and site-building and actually enjoyed this blog. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You actually come with fantastic article content. Kudos for sharing with us your blog.

  2. July 9, 2020

    This is such a great post, and was thinking much the same myself. Another great update.

  3. I uncovered your blog website on google as well as check a few of your early messages. Continue to maintain the very good operate. I just added up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking onward to finding out more from you later!?

  4. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer. Excellent Blog!

  5. Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such information.

  6. When I initially commented I clicked the -Inform me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I obtain 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can eliminate me from that solution? Thanks!

  7. July 14, 2020

    Your place is valueble for me. Many thanks !?

  8. July 14, 2020

    You must take part in a contest for one of the most effective blogs on the web. I will certainly recommend this website!

  9. July 15, 2020

    Right after study a couple of of the weblog posts on your web page now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will likely be checking back soon. Pls check out my web internet site too and let me know what you believe.

  10. I was extremely delighted to locate this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it as well as I have you bookmarked to have a look at brand-new stuff you post.

  11. July 15, 2020

    There is visibly a bundle to understand about this. I assume you made certain nice factors in features likewise.

  12. I discovered your blog site on google and inspect a few of your early blog posts. Remain to keep up the great run. I just added up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Viewers. Looking for ahead to reading more from you later!?

  13. July 18, 2020

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks !?

  14. This internet site is actually a walk-through for all of the info you wanted regarding this and also didn?t recognize who to ask. Glimpse below, and you?ll absolutely discover it.

  15. July 19, 2020

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to create more on this subject, it could not be a frowned on subject but generally individuals are inadequate to talk on such topics. To the following. Cheers

  16. July 21, 2020

    I was very pleased to discover this web-site. I wanted to many thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I absolutely delighting in every little of it as well as I have you bookmarked to check out brand-new things you article.

  17. July 21, 2020

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Inform me when new comments are included- checkbox and also now each time a comment is included I get 4 e-mails with the very same comment. Exists any way you can eliminate me from that service? Many thanks!

  18. July 22, 2020

    You need to participate in a contest for one of the very best blog sites on the web. I will certainly advise this website!

  19. July 23, 2020

    This is the ideal blog for any person that wants to discover this topic. You understand a lot its virtually tough to argue with you (not that I in fact would want?HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject thats been covered for years. Fantastic things, simply excellent!

  20. July 25, 2020

    Aw, this was a really nice blog post. In idea I would love to place in creating similar to this furthermore? taking some time as well as real effort to make an excellent article? however what can I state? I postpone alot as well as never seem to obtain something done.

  21. July 26, 2020

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted regarding this and didn?t know that to ask. Peek right here, and also you?ll most definitely uncover it.

  22. July 28, 2020

    This is the right blog site for any person who intends to discover this topic. You recognize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You certainly put a brand-new spin on a subject thats been blogged about for years. Terrific things, simply fantastic!

  23. July 28, 2020

    You need to take part in a competition for among the best blog sites on the web. I will recommend this website!

  24. July 29, 2020

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Alert me when new comments are included- checkbox and also currently each time a comment is included I obtain four emails with the very same comment. Exists any way you can remove me from that solution? Thanks!

  25. July 30, 2020

    Love watching movies !

  26. July 30, 2020

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.

  27. July 31, 2020

    Best view in the town !

  28. July 31, 2020

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site needs far more factor to consider. I?ll probably be again to check out far more, many thanks for that info.

  29. July 31, 2020

    Best view in the town !

  30. Love watching movies !

  31. August 4, 2020

    Hey – I was checking out your site and I’m impressed with how clean and professional it looks.

    Adding video to your website has become an absolute MUST. Even something basic that clearly defines exactly what it is you’re offering & why work with your company vs competitors…

    My team, based out of Toronto, Canada, creates quality animated explainer videos. Our award-winning videos are proven to increase customer engagement and decrease user bounce rate.

    Email me back for some explainer video samples, pricing, or just to say hi!

    –Tara Campbell
    Email: Tara.c@vidthebiz.com
    Website: VidTheBiz.com

  32. August 4, 2020

    very great blog post, i certainly enjoy this web site, keep it

  33. August 5, 2020

    This really addressed my trouble, thanks!

  34. August 6, 2020

    Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

  35. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

  36. Wonderful blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  37. The following time I check out a blog site, I wish that it doesn’t disappoint me as high as this one. I imply, I understand it was my choice to read, yet I really believed youd have something fascinating to state. All I hear is a number of whining regarding something that you might deal with if you werent also active trying to find attention.

  38. August 8, 2020

    Hello there! I just wish to provide a massive thumbs up for the great information you have here on this message. I will certainly be returning to your blog for more quickly.

  39. August 10, 2020

    This site truly has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  40. August 10, 2020

    really nice article, i definitely enjoy this web site, continue it

Write a comment:

Your email address will not be published.

St. Mary's, Bures Top
Follow us: