Walking the Way with Christ

Footprint

Read: Acts 10:34-43

Consider this:

However you look at it, 2016 has been quite a year! For some, it has been a year of achievement, progression and joy. For others, it has brought uncertainty, doubt and fear.

The news of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the USA’s decision to elect Donald J Trump as President have certainly been controversial. They have affirmed some people’s ideas about how their country and, indeed, the world, should proceed.  For others, they are a sad indictment of how bad things have become.

Many have passed on from this life, during 2016, whom we will miss. Many new lives have come into the world, in which we have rejoiced.

There are some moments we will treasure for years to come, some memories we would rather forget and some situations we would prefer to leave behind, but can’t.

The lectionary leads us, this week, to the Book of Acts, where we are reminded of the commission which God has given us. Through Jesus, God’s love is available to all people, a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope for everyone, no matter who they are, what they’ve done or how difficult their lives may be. It is our job, as children of God, to share that love with everyone around us.

As we go along our journey, sharing this love, there will be moments we will wish to treasure. Putting a smile on someone’s face, helping someone in need or reminding someone of their value makes everything we do in service to God worthwhile.

There will be other encounters we would rather forget. Refusing to share God’s love with someone, being nasty towards someone or keeping all our wealth for ourselves can make us feel guilty, like we’ve failed in our task.

There are other things which we would rather leave behind, but can’t. The situation faced by families living in war zones, the discrimination experienced by refugees in our communities and the hunger of those without the resources to feed themselves will not go away. We still need to deal with them.

Scripture reminds us that, no matter what we face on our journey, how many times we get it wrong or how huge our challenges may seem, God will always be there to strengthen and guide us through it all. Even when humans killed Jesus for all the good works he had done, God raised him from the dead and called his disciples, including us, to keep his work going.

As we enter a new year, remember the good times and hope for more, remember the not so good times and learn from them and keep all those things you cannot leave behind in your heart, ever seeking to make things better.

For whoever you are, God loves you, and there is nothing you can do about it!

Offer this Prayer:

God of all time, help us to remember our past and use it to guide our way as we walk with you on the journey of life, sharing your love with everyone around us.

God of all places, help us to remember that you are everywhere. There is nowhere we can go to hide from you, nowhere we can find to escape you. Your strength and guidance is always with us.

God of all people, help us to remember that we are your servants in the world. For if our hands don’t tend to those in need, how can your will be done? If our feet don’t walk your path, how can your Kingdom come?

Be with us, light of the world, to fill our hearts with courage and joy, ready to serve you and your people, knowing your love, always.

AMEN.