January 2022 - Sandi

It’s been a struggle to know what words to greet you with to usher in the New Year. In some ways ‘Happy New Year’ seems inappropriate given the difficulties with covid we face every day. In 2020 as we wished one another a Happy New Year we had no idea what was around the corner and in 2021 we said these words with hope that the unusual circumstances we’d lived through were coming to an end.


In times of uncertainty over the years I’ve been encouraged by these words from the Bible …let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a. It’s not certain who wrote the letter to the Hebrews, the Jewish people who had come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but their difficult circumstances are known. They faced difficult circumstances because of their having chosen to believe in Jesus. Many had lost their jobs, their incomes, homes and some their friends and family. Many had found their lives endangered.


Many of us may have experienced similar difficulties recently and so I offer you these words of encouragement to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. I’m not much of a runner; I managed couch to 5k before returning to my couch. It wasn’t so much the running that was the problem, more the breathing! Mostly I learned that running was simply about keeping on putting one foot in front of the other.


There’s a well-known saying that the race of life is less like a sprint and more like marathon. May we each this year run with perseverance the race marked out for us one step at a time, one day, one week, one month at a time. And may we do so while fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of faith. I’ve discovered that fixing my eyes on Jesus has helped me take the next step many, many times. For me fixing my eyes on Jesus is as simple as taking a moment, telling him what’s happening, and asking for help. So far he’s never let me down and I’ve been surprised and filled with joy at the help I needed appearing.


With this encouragement in mind, I will wish you all a Happy New Year because, whatever 2022 holds in store, there will be moments of joy for each of us on the journey of life as we run the race set our before us.