A hand in the darkness

As we move into the start of a New Year when much seems unknown and uncertain, I find myself reminded of words used by King George VI on Christmas Day 1939.

In the meantime I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I would like to say to you: 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 shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”

May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.

The quote he used, by Bristol author Minnie Louise Haskins, has often been requoted since – even though the rest of her poem seems difficult to find – probably because it is so evocative. I find that it resonates within me as I look out into our present circumstances.

The context of the speech was the King seeking to encourage his people shortly after Britain and France had declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. Since I can imagine that this must have been one of the scarier moments in British history, perhaps we should appropriate its imagery and encouragement now.

May God bless you in 2009.

Links with thanks: Full text of the King's message. Biography of Minnie Louise Haskins.

Epiphany 2009.