The New Year always neatly coincides with the Feast of the Epiphany in the Christian Calendar. This feast celebrates how visitors from the east recognized the significance of the birth of Jesus, and brought him gifts. It also reminds us of darker undercurrents in human affairs, King Herod defending his power through the slaughter of innocents.
These are two themes we bring with us from 2022 and we shall continue to face them both in 2023. Visitors continue to come to our shores from far distant places, whether seeking refuge or opportunity, eager to share their wisdom and their gifts with us, and dictators continue to inflict their cruel will on innocents.
So, as I look ahead to a new year and wish you much happiness within it, I do so knowing that human happiness can be fragile and that the well-being of both the human race and the planet where we live depends on our willingness, along with others, to act for the good of all.
Those travellers to Bethlehem centuries ago, read the signs in the heavens that led them not to a palace but a humble home, and there they discovered the presence of God. May you find God this year in unexpected places.