Thought for the week – the Rev Amanda Barraclough

After many weddings in 2012, I was surprised so few were booked for 2013. Is that because it ends in that number regarded as ‘unlucky’? Does it, for some couples, ring alarm bells, not wedding bells?

Thirteen is often missed when numbering houses because it makes that home harder to sell. We can’t do that with the calendar! Sadly, some will enter this New Year with additional fears simply because it is 2013.

Fears can disable us. God does not intend us to start a New Year fearful, expecting things to go wrong. If we start the year like that, we will find plenty of evidence to point at and say, “See! It’s going to be a dreadful year!” But if we start the year hopeful in the promise of a new beginning, we will recognise evidence to support that.

Fears colour our perspective on life. If we anticipate things going wrong, they will feel more burdensome when they do go wrong. If we believe God has good things for us, we will see the future more positively. Superstitions that feed fear are not words which Christians should heed. The Christmas message shows our world is not ruled by luck, but by a God who gave the most precious thing of all to show us the extent of that love.

So, expect God to bless you. Head into 2013 full of hope and expectation.