Key Text

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the
beginning to the end.

cited from the NRSV

Image of the week

December 31, 2005

New Year

What lies ahead ?

The Long Road Ahead

photograph by Gary Heard

For the previous image (30 November 2005), click here.


Present Context

For Reflection

What are we to do with the last day of the year? To look forward with hope - the start of a new year is filled with promise and hope - or to look back in reflection on the year past?

Each year brings its own special nuance to our unfolding story of life. Each weaves both familiar and new threads. The new year provides opportunity to reflect upon the past, with thankfulness where appropriate, and at times regret and remorse.

The new year stands as a reminder of grace - with its potential for a new beginning, something always at the heart of God's work in and through us.

Consider the road behind, and the road ahead, and pause to ponder the hand of the Master Weaver upon your life - for no journey in life need be undertaken without His hand holding ours.

Abba Poeman said regarding Abba Prin that every day he made a new beginning." "My God, do not abandon me. I have done nothing good before Thee, but grant me, in Thy compassion, the power to make a start" (Arsenios, 5th century).


The old year is now a distant memory, a reverberating sound echoing into the present. Let not its voice determine our present and our future, O God of all time. Make for us a new beginning, made possible in the forgiveness and grace which is at the essence of Your being.

As we journey through the coming year, lead us into the beauty of Your purpose for each of us, and for all creation.