pastoral/spiritual care

Standing at the Gate of the Year

About seventy years ago, England’s King George VI spoke to his country as 1939 came to a close and 1940 was about to begin.  Hitler’s Third Reich was gaining power in Europe and another world war was on the horizon.  During the king’s speech, which became his most famous, he quoted from a poem by writer Minnie Louise Haskins.  Its words brought comfort to the people of England then teetering on the brink of the unknown, and speak to us today as well.

"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 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
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east."

The transition from one period of our life to another is always uncertain and often scary.  But we can move on.  As you think about the chapter that is coming to a close, give thanks for its blessings.  Grieve its hurts and disappointments.  Remember the people who brought joy along the way.  Say goodbye to that time of your life, whether it was one of your best or one of the worst.  Then, take the hand of God, and walk gladly into a new chapter!

God of past, present, and future, thank you for bringing us safely through it all.  Help us to carry with us the lessons learned from the past and to leave behind any regrets.  We resolve to do our part in the present and future to be more like you, and we trust that you will go with us on the way.  Your hand gives us strength and comfort, God.  Thank you for the promise and possibilities of every new beginning.  Amen.

-- Chaplain Stacy N. Sergent


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