Musings from the Manse – January 2024

My dad was a master of the sayings which sometimes would make me laugh [“that hole in the road is a foot high”], sometimes cry [“you’ll cry before you go to bed”] and sometimes at the time I had no idea what he was taking about [“he wants thumping with the thick end of a ragman’s truncheon”]. He often described new technology as “that new fangled contraption”. In truth new technology was not always his forte as I hear many others testifying to, but I wonder if we are in danger of developing a negative attitude towards all things new?

What about new things you may buy or have bought for you, what about each New Year, what about new opportunities, new ways of doing things or trying anything new, or welcoming new members of your family? It is true that with some things new we may be nervous, indeed, we may face them with trepidation but our experience in life should show us that we can and do deal with so many new things, which we always have done, of course in varying degrees.

In all this, as we look at our approach and attitude to new things, we don’t need reminding that we have been singing over Christmas; ‘Glory to the new born King’. This is no ‘new fangled’ king but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The one we follow into pastures new and into 2024 as the turn of the year is always a good time to stop and ask

God where is it he is leading me and us. Maybe we search for the answers and focus on God’s word;

‘He put a new song in my mouth’ Psalm 40.3

‘Sing to the Lord a new song’ Psalm 48.1

‘The things I predicted have now come true. Now I will tell you of new things even before they begin to happen.” Isaiah 42.9

‘See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Isaiah 65.17-19

‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31.31,33

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3.22-23

As you read and perhaps reread these texts, hear God speaking to you as we start the New Year full of God’s new covenant with us as each of us are a new creation in him and with a new commitment to live out the ‘new commandment’ Jesus gave us to “love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Happy and blessed New Year

Your friend and servant



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