New Year greetings to you all from the congregation here at Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire. U.K. As we look back upon 2017, we acknowledge that it has been a year in which major seismic changes have taken place here in the U.K., and in the wider world. Here in the U.K., we have witnessed the tragic loss of life following the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. Similar attacks have happened in other parts of the world also resulting in the loss of life. We have the political uncertainty that has ensued following the indecisive result of the General Election and the complex negotiations in respect of Brexit.  In spite of these events, we need to reflect upon the blessings and the positive aspects of 2017, and look forward with hope and expectancy to 2018.

We enter 2018 acknowledging that challenges lie ahead for us as individuals, for our families, and our communities and nation. However, it is important that we look ahead in a positive spirit to embrace the opportunities a new year brings. People look ahead to 2018 with fear and uncertainty, and in many cases this is understandable. For the Christian believer, the New Year represents a season of fresh challenge as we continue to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The gospel writers record how that Jesus spoke to His disciples promising them peace and security in the midst of uncertain times. The words spoken by Jesus to His disciples ring true for us today.

Seasonal greetings to you all from members and friends of the Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. We pray blessing and peace upon you and your families over this festive season. We celebrate Christmas 2017 against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty both in our nation here in the U.K. and in the wider world. This year has been a year of great sadness and loss for many thinking in particular of folk who have lost loved ones in the dreadful terror outrages that have hit Manchester and London in recent months. For these, Christmas will be tinged with sadness and loss. Not forgetting those who have lost family members and friends in the Grenfell Tower inferno of the 14th of June. In addition to this we face the continuing political uncertainty surrounding the ‘BREXIT’ negotiations that are proving to be of great complexity.

Set amidst this uncertain train of events, we enter this season of peace, joy, and good will to all. We look forward to being with our families and the exchanging of gifts that are so much part of the festive season. Right at the heart of the Christmas message is the coming into out world of our Lord Jesus Christ two thousand years ago. He came as ‘God’s Glorious Gift’ so set mankind free from the tyranny of sin, brokenness, and oppression. In the midst of the prevailing darkness of the hour, let us rejoice that Jesus Christ has come to be ‘The Light of the World’. The babe in the Bethlehem manger is the One who can bring hope and security in the midst of the troubles of our broken world.

May the peace and joy that Jesus Christ can give be yours this Christmas tide.