North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

We are a discipleship movement shaped for mission

So, a decade has ended. Or has it? You may remember that in 2000 some people argued that the new decade, century, millennium, didn’t start until 2001. After all, when we count in 10s we don’t start with zero or a number ending in zero. I’m not going to get into that. But certainly the “2010s” have ended and the “2020s” have begun.

Already some newspapers and commentators have started referring to “the roaring twenties” saying that this decade will be really positive for Britain especially following Brexit. Only God knows – though my history O level helps me remember that the previous “roaring twenties”, the 1920s, ended with the Wall Street Crash! Lets all hope the 2020s will not end that way.

Over the last few weeks and months the papers have been full of not only reviews of the year but also reviews of the decade. And there have been some momentous events over the last 10 years. The London Olympics. Royal weddings. Brexit. Natural disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake and as the decade ends an increasing awareness of climate change and its effects.

The start of a new year (and a new decade?) brings excitement to some and apprehension to others. Some people like the certainty of the current year. Others can’t wait to see the old year behind and relish a new year and a fresh start.

I must admit to a feeling of unease entering the new year as we seem to be living in “interesting times”. Whatever way you feel about 2020, I leave you with part of a poem which became famous when read by King George VI during his Christmas broadcast in 1939:

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 into 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.

From "The Gate of the Year" a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins

I wish you a very Happy New Year.

David Gray