In wondering what this year might bring, and like most folks hoping it will not be as bad as recent times, I had a quick look online to see what happened in 1923. We often hear that things come round again and again and, in checking on 1923, I had to do a double take to think I was not reading about this year. The biggest headline of 1923 was ‘hyperinflation crisis’!
That was a shock, but I thought surely there was some good happening that year as well; so I dug a bit deeper. Well, it turns out in February 1923 Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s wonders in Egypt. There were royal celebrations too — King George VI married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Sport saw the first 24hour Le Mans race and the chimes of Big Ben were broadcast for the first time. However, there were also worrying events, not big in themselves, but the start of something most destructive and hate filled; the Nazi party was on the move in Germany and began to hold rallies and fights at public meetings.
Good things that brought joy, life, flourishing, and love to communities and individuals abounded, but then so did the chance for destruction and, well hatred and evil!
‘Come follow me’ says Jesus, be people of love, people of peace, of justice. Be people who give talents and time for good in the world! Contrast that with the call to follow hatred and violence that Hitler broadcast to the people of Germany. Jesus’ calling was not just for 2000 years ago, it remains his words to us today. Choose love, choose justice, choose mercy, choose to give your talents and efforts for good things – his calling remains as strong as ever.
Reading the events recorded for 1923 I wondered what will be recorded for 2023 that folks might read of in 100 years from now. What choices will we have made, who will we choose to follow each day? For me, I will seek each day to follow a calling to ‘goodness’, to do my part to love, to seek grace, to see life flourish in our communities. I will fall short at times I am sure, but won’t stop looking for good things to offer my talents and time to. I wonder if we all might set our paths in the direction of good things and if 2023 might be recorded as a good year, as a year of good things!