This year our theme is ‘Trusting in His Love’ and throughout the year we will be considering what is it really like to trust fully in God’s love for us. In all areas of our life. As you enter this new decade you may feel you are fully trusting God or maybe not. However, you feel can I remind you of this verse from the Beatitudes.

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 (MSG)

I will pick up more of that on Sunday. But for now, let me take you back some 90 years to Christmas Day 1939; King George VI spoke to the nation. Ahead of his closing lines, in which he paid tribute to the fighting services of Britain and its allies, he spoke of the uncertainty of the year ahead. He concluded his speech with lines from a poem:

“I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shalt be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.'”

Response to the broadcast was extraordinary; thousands immediately contacted the BBC to ask the authorship of the lines, while newspapers were also keen to find out. But no one, including Buckingham Palace, seemed to know…

On Boxing Day, the BBC said that the author had not been traced. Later, a man telephoned the BBC to say he had permission from his sister to reveal that she was the author. Then, on its midnight news bulletin, the BBC stated that the search for writer had found a Miss Minnie Louise Haskins of Crowborough, who had written her now renowned lines some years earlier as an introduction to some verses called ‘God Knows’.

Early next morning, snow descended on Crowborough, along with the world’s press – who gathered outside a house called Brooklands in Ghyll Road. Miss Haskins turned out to be a 64-year-old retired university lecturer who lived with two younger sisters in the house – which they ran as a school for young children.

Wishing you all well as you stand at the ‘Gate of the Year’.

You can listen to King George VI’s original broadcast here.

You can also read more about how our queen introduced the poem to her dad and also read the full poem. Please click here.

I have also been struck again by this song which I think will become an anthem for us this year as a church.

Thank you to Karen Eakins for the inspiration for this blog.


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