When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you. (Is. 43:2)
Sunday’s readings are wonderfully suited for us as we prepare for the New Year. Luke 3:15ff and Acts 8:14-17 remind us of our own baptism; we are God’s “beloved”. With that truth anchored firmly in our hearts we are ready for all that the year may hold.
It is the passage from Isaiah (43:1-5) though, that most appeals to me. Perhaps that is because on Sunday 10 Jan my family and I will be crossing the notorious Bloukrans River on the Otter Trail.
Much discussion and planning has taken place about how to get there at low-tide, how to keep our kit dry and so on. We have the option of an escape route if the crossing is dangerous. The challenges we face in 2016 are unlikely to have escape routes. But we can hold on to the promise of the one who delivers us through the waters – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine” (Is 43:1).
God Bless, Sean
 Sometimes we believe, intellectually, that God loves us but don’t really know it deep down in our hearts. Following Trevor Hudson’s recommendation of writing what he calls a “Beloved Charter” may be helpful. See his book “Invitations to Abundant life: In search of life at its best”.