New Years Resolutions

With the new year now in full swing, I wonder what has happened to those New Year’s resolutions? The difference between good intentions and absolute determination can be vast. A survey from the US claims that 45% of all Americans made New Year resolutions last year, but only 8% kept them. Good intentions, it seems, don’t hold our attention for long. My sister, on the other hand, is still going strong with her New Year ‘get healthy’ regime. Losing some weight and feeling better about herself will be nice but her reasons are wholly different. Our older sister who died back in September, and our Dad who died the previous year, both suffered from type 2 diabetes due to being overweight. My sister can hear the warning bells ringing as her weight goes up but she is determined to overcome. If you are trying to make a much needed change in your life, I want to encourage you to hang in there.

Christmas, although several weeks ago, was beautiful in Standon and Puckeridge. It started for us with a NEW ‘Walk in Nativity’ at Roger de Clare School with live animals and two hundred adults and children. This was quickly followed by our heavenly ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ at St. Mary’s, led by our exceptional Benefice Choir. The Ralph Sadleir and Roger de Clare School Carol Services were equally beautiful, and our Christingle, Midnight Communion and Christmas Day Celebrations were all memorable moments in their own ways. May I take this opportunity to thank so many willing and committed people who make these activities possible and any others who serve our community unselfishly as so many do. 

Back to those good intentions. Coming to church at Christmas can spark a desire to think our faith through. If Jesus really lived, died, and rose up from the grave, and by so doing can change our lives for good, then maybe it’s time to ‘come back’ to church, to read the Bible, to pray more and to give the notion of faith the chance to grow in us. Yet, such a thought often gets swallowed up like the rest of our New Year resolutions once the normal busyness takes over again. Eating, drinking and spending less may be very necessary for us but what about those deeper needs. Like the man who came to me this past year and said He needed to find God because he had tried everything else. The health service could not ultimately help him, other people could not help him, and he could not help himself. He needed God. Experience has shown me over many, many years that when someone needs God’s help he or she will always find it. This is more than a good intention. Talk to a Christian friend; come to church; ring my number. Faith helps.

Alan Comfort, Rector