“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These words from the prophet Isaiah remind us that discernment lies at the heart of the Christian faith and is necessary for all those who follow the way and teaching of Jesus.

They have a timeless significance for a people of faith, and especially so when we enter, once again, another year under God. They point us towards a simple, humble faith in divine providence that is beyond our limited comprehension. Divine providence is not an understanding of the world and the universe in which man and women are merely bit players in a performance whose plot has already been decided upon. No, but it is the firm Christian belief that in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in life, God is always with us. It is a belief in an objective reality which is God, whose ways are not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts.

No doubt 2022 will throw up its fair share of challenges, about which, 
we are at this time completely unaware. Foolish is the man or woman who thinks they are in control of their own destiny! But whatever happens in life we may, through prayer and devotion, discern the hand of God operating through those events be they joyful or sorrowful.

In the first Book of Kings chapter 19 verse 11-12 we read these words, “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

It is that small voice that we must discern in order to deepen the Faith and know more closely Jesus in our day-to-day living. And in doing that we will discern the same faithful confidence that St Paul had when he wrote to the Church in Rome, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Have confidence, have faith, have hope, live by love, and keep close to Jesus in 2022.

Keep the Faith

The Vicar