With a father who grew up in Aberdeen, and parents who loved taking the family to Highland Games, and Scottish dances, my sister and I grew up viewing the New Year as a very important time of the year. Hogmanay, first footing, singing Auld Lang Syne, were all part of the tradition of the Pettie New Year.
Every New Year my father recited his favourite poem, which he had first heard quoted in King George Vl’s 1939 Christmas Day broadcast. The lines were lifted from a poem called God Knows, written by Minnie Haskins, a missionary to India.
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.”
When the King quoted the poem, World War Two had just started and no one knew how long it would last or how the war would develop. At such a time the King understood the importance of pointing people towards the Lord and teaching them to seek Him. He was the King who on seven occasions during the War called the nation to prayer.
As 2019 starts, everyone has their own ideas on how to make the New Year a good year. But the only path to follow is God’s path. The prophet Jeremiah says:
Thus says the Lord,
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls …” (Jeremiah 6.16)
Have a blessed New Year
01 Jan 2019