Last week, our journey to visit our daughter and granddaughters took 2½ hours instead of the usual 50 minutes. A lorry fire on the M25 overnight had closed the motorway, with the result that all the motorway traffic towards East Surrey was diverted through leafy Surrey villages that simply weren’t designed for that volume of traffic. It made us realise what the journey time might normally be if someone hadn’t created a way of bypassing all the towns and villages around London, where previously there was no such way.
That in turn reminded us that throughout history, God has been ‘making a way where there seemed to be no way’, to help people find his plans and purposes for them. Think of the book of Genesis, where God provided Joseph with a way out of prison and into the role of Prime Minister of Egypt. Think of the Exodus story, where the fleeing Israelites, trapped at the seashore by Pharaoh’s pursuing army, were provided with a way to escape through the sea towards the Promised Land. Isaiah reminds his readers of that story in Isaiah 43:16, where he writes: – ‘Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters…’ He goes on to add, in verse 19: – ‘I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’
God continues to ‘make a way’ for us where there seems to be no way in our wildernesses and deserts; and it’s good to acknowledge when he does so. Isaiah 43:19 formed the basis of our church text for 2022, so when we meet for worship on January 1st 2023 we plan to give you an opportunity to look back over 2022 and to share some of the ways in which God has done something new in your life, or in our life together as a church. So, please reflect on the last year and be ready to share and give thanks for some of the ways in which God has made a ‘new way’ for us.
Meanwhile, Christmas will be an opportunity to remember and give thanks for the fact that Jesus himself came into this world to make a way for us to return to God, where previously there was no way. May God bless you richly as you celebrate this profound truth.
With our love and prayers
Matthew and Pauline