I fear I’m showing my age – but I need to confess that I’ve recently started listening to Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 (albeit via the podcast!).

Kirsty Young’s guest just before Christmas was the Archbishop of Canterbury – Justin Welby.

What a great opportunity to gain some insight into the interior life of this delightful man of God.

Two things have stayed in my mind from the broadcast – first that his family often play the same frenetic card game as ours do. And second that the record he would save if all else was lost is Matt Redman’s ‘Blessed be your name’ – because of its commitment to acknowledge God’s greatness through both the good times and the bad.

As you enter the New Year there is no wiser mindset to adopt, than to acknowledge, even before any storms arrive, that God is always worthy of our love and praise, and that you will continue to walk with him, as he continues with you – whatever life throws your way.

This isn’t the same as wearing plastic smiles to hide a breaking or desiccated heart. Paul, for example, didn’t tell the Roman Christians to ‘buck people up’. Instead he said: ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn’ (Romans 12:15).

It’s a call to be there for each other – to celebrate with and then carry each other – as the season of life requires.

This year, may God grant us the opportunities to be celebrants, and the compassion to be
burden sharers.

Pastor David