So, we are coming to the end of 2018. 1 year is a long time: 365.25 days, 8760 hours, 525 600 minutes, 31 557 600 seconds. For some this is too long – the young person longs for it to pass quickly so that they can be a little older. For others it is so long because it has been so very, very, hard and they just long for it to pass

But, for others 1 year is a very short time – when it is the best year of your life you just want it to go on and on. When your life, or that of one you love, is coming to an end, it is just passing too quickly.

Well, we are going to be reviewing this year as it has been for us as a church family. And as I was meditating on this I kept getting just two words – “thank you”. This review is to simply be one of looking back over all that has happened this year and saying “thank you” to Father God for all that has happened to us as a church – trusting in Him that all that has happened has, in the end, been all that He has wanted to happen.

For some this will be a difficult time: it’s been, for many, such a tough year – in health, in finances, in work, in relationships. It’s going to be a real challenge to look back over the year and say “thank you” – but I hope that you can – trusting in Him that:

in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8: 28)

For others it’s going to be tough because they are “glass half empty” kind-of people – where they tend to look at the negative more than the positive. I admit to being that kind of a person myself. But, the Spirit calls us to say “thank you”.



There are two texts that I want us to focus on as we draw to the end of 2018 – both of which serve to emphasise the need to look back with thanks – no matter what the year has been like for us personally.

The first is found in Joshua chapter 4 (verses 1-7)and tell of  the command of God for the Israelites after He had dried up the river Jordan so that the people could walk across it and so enter the Promised Land:

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel for ever.’

It is good to remember what has happened. It is right to remember what had happened. The Lord had done something wonderful for the Israelites and they were to not forget His goodness – so every time they saw this pile of stones they would remember what the Lord had done.

The second text shall form the basis of our look into 2019…next week…



Let us be guided by the Word and by the Spirit.

Whatever our normal propensity, let us choose to have an “attitude of gratitude” at the close of this momentous year – 2018.

Whatever, has happened to us personally, let us look back over the year as a church family and say…