Auld Lang Syne… Differences, Listening and Faith

Last night we watched the final of ‘The Voice Kids 2021’. We listened to 16 children with remarkable voices. The winner was 14-year-old Torrin, performing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as her final song quite beautifully.

This week many will sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’… literally ‘Old Long Since’… less literally ‘days gone by’. The lyrics tell of old friends reminiscing…

Reminiscing on 2021 with quotes from Philip Yancey’s ‘Finding God in Unexpected Places’:

Differences…

‘It’s time for us to realise that differences need not lead to division… Jesus named love, not theological or political correctness, as the identifying mark as Christians. ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’

I’m learning… Differences in belief must be respected; differences in behaviour must be understood. It’s often more convenient to exclude the one who has messed up, the one whose life is different, unconventional or problematic. Inclusive love is the priority.

Listening…

‘I recall an Interview Dan Rather did with Mother Teresa… ‘What do you say to God when you pray?’ he asked. Mother Teresa looked at him… and said quietly, ‘I listen.’ Slightly flustered, Rather tried again. Well, then, what does God say?’ Mother Teresas smiled. ‘He listens.’’

I’m learning… Many have a lot to say – to each other, to the world, to God… opinions, needs, rights, views that others must hear. Listening, following the example of Mother Teresa – and God – seems an increasingly better alternative.

Faith…

‘…faith convinces me that despite the apparent chaos of the present moment, God does reign; that regardless of how cast off I may feel, I matter, truly matter, to a God of love;  that no pain lasts forever and no evil triumphs in the end.’

I’m learning… Many have encountered sickness, financial worries, family breakdowns, bereavement… Life appears out of control. My faith in a personal, loving God grows; the God who I don’t always understand is in total control.

2021… days gone by… still learning

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