You can read the full transcript of the reflection below.
At the beginning of this new year we're probably all wondering where we can find hope. 2020 was difficult, 2021 hasn't got off to a great start, but the vaccine is on its way, and even though there are many other challenges facing us, we hope. And one of my favourite passages in the bible is when Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego are going to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace and are given a last chance to worship King Nebuchadnezzar's golden statue but they say, "Well look, our God might save us and our God might not save us, but we're not going to do what we know to be wrong. We're going to place our hope in God's way of living, in God's way of inhabiting the earth."
On New Year, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a German pastor who bravely opposed the Nazi government, wrote a poem in prison. I won't read all of it, it's a longish poem, but here are a few verses which also speak of, well, good things may be ahead, but there may also be bad things, but we place our trust in God and in the light that he shines on us. So he writes,
"Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving even to the dregs of pain, at thy command, we will not falter, thankfully receiving all that is given by thy loving hand. But should it be thy will once more to release us to life's enjoyment and its good sunshine, that which we've learned from sorrow shall increase us, and all our life be dedicate as thine. Today, let candles shed their radiant greeting; lo, on our darkness are they not thy light leading us, haply, to our longed-for meeting? - Thou canst illumine even our darkest night."
In this new year we pray that the light of Christ may shine in our darkness. And if you would like me to pray for you, or for the Sisters at Whitby who are praying with me to pray for you, please send in a prayer. We will pray for you this new year, here at Bishopthorpe Palace, in Whitby, that you may know the light of Christ.
Anyone who wishes a prayer to be said for themselves or others, can send this in to Bishopthorpe Palace, where the Archbishop will pray, with support from The Order of the Holy Paraclete at Whitby.
If you would like to write your request for prayer, please post to: Prayers, Office of the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2GE.
Please be aware that names may be shared with the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby and that personal responses may not be possible.
Other prayer requests can be submitted anytime here