As I write, Christmas is past, although we are still in Christmastide, until Candlemas on the 2nd February.  As you know, I value the Christian seasons very much, with Advent being a time of preparation, and Christmastide being a season of celebration.  So some of our Christmas decorations are still in place and will remain so for another couple of weeks or so.  (that’s my excuse, anyway!!)  Besides, I didn’t finish putting the decorations up until after Christmas!  I would like to thank everyone who sent Ian and I so many beautiful Christmas cards – they are certainly still up, and we enjoy them every day.

But now, on the other side of Christmas, we are in turbulent times.  Brexit is a matter of days away.  How is that going to pan out – in the short, medium and long term?  Are people on either side of the issue ever going to see eye to eye again?

There are big tensions between Iran and the USA which dwarf the issue of Brexit.  How is that going work out over time?    There has been a summit over Libya in the last few days – a heart-breaking situation in which there has been no end of suffering and loss, and thousands of people with nothing left to lose come through Libya on their way to finding a better life, and realising, too late, that they have ended up in a hell-hole at the mercy of ruthless people-smugglers.

There are the tensions going on in the Royal Family.  So many column inches on an issue that many people will be quite bewildered about!  But am I the only person who finds the whole issue strangely unsettling?

It can feel that so much is changing all around us.  It can be tempting to crawl back under the duvet and only come out when it has all gone away.

But many of the issues and situations that disturb and worry us are real live issues that effect the lives of our brothers and sisters across the world – whether it is fires in Australia, volcanos in the Philippines, drought in Africa, flooding, war or bad government.

It’s tempting to think it’s nothing to do with us, there’s nothing we can do.

But that should never stop us being concerned about our fellow brothers and sisters, especially those who are going through tough times – either temporarily or permanently.  Nothing should stop us from praying for our brothers and sisters – imagine holding them before God when we make our requests.  And we should never stop thinking of what we can do; what is in our power to do to help.  It might be writing a letter to our MP.  It might be donating a little bit of money to a charity.  It might be knitting something 

One thing we could remember is that any of us could be in the situation that other people are in.  How would we feel?  What would we want from others were situations reversed?  A lot to think about!

So I’d like to wish everyone a somewhat belated Happy New Year, with every blessing as we face some of these issues over the coming months.

Yours, Lindsay