A Blessed, Healthy and Happy New Year 2010

There is an old saying in Antigua and probably in most Caribbean Islands, “New Broom Sweep Clean, But Old Broom know The Corners”. There is a suggestion here that while the New Broom gets things clean, because of its lack of experience it misses the corners. The end result is there are some areas of the House or Yard that’s not swept because the New Broom doesn’t have the experience to maneuver and navigate into those small crevices. On the other hand, the Old Broom is able with consummate ease to deal with those difficult areas. The question is, are we looking forward to this New Year 2010 with great anticipation or are we prepared to hold onto the Old Year because of what we know?

Christmas is a season to sing praises, yet in our time the reality of environmental destruction undermines the doxology of creation. Littering has become a past time. Our Ponds, Dams, Rivers and Communities have been littered with garbage. There are too many persons who seem not to care about the destruction of our environment. During the past three weeks there was a Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. We wait to see what difference this will make in a world that is destroying itself not so much by Guns and Bombs, (even though they have wreak untold damage in different corners of the world), but by pollution, emission of gasses, the wanton discarding of garbage of every kind at places that they are not supposed to be. Is there something to say about all of the new diseases that have descended upon us? As the earth suffers, so must its inhabitants. Already, the poor and socially marginalized people find it ever more difficult to lift their voices in song. For some persons, life is too difficult to sing and many ask the question, “How can we sing the Lord’s Song in a strange land?”



I believe that most of us would agree that 2009 was a most challenging year. We were fed a diet Global Recession, Economic Downturn, Downsizing, Belt Tightening, Job Cuts, Pay Cuts, Financial Hardship and a generally gloomy outlook. If one were to follow the dictates of others you would have fallen down and die, but the child of God sees hope even in the darkest night of living. It is at the time of drought, hardship and difficulty that we ought to stand on the promises of God. It is the writer of Isaiah who puts it best when he wrote, “…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee”. (Isaiah 43:1-3).

Isaiah gives renewed hope and vitality to those who seem hopeless and dispirited. It is with this type of encouragement and positive spirit that we must enter into 2010. As a Church, we must go in the strength of the Lord no matter what time it is. God must remain our compass at all times. The enemy is ever present and ever ready to steal our joy and so we must never give way to the thief to invade God’s territory.

Frances Havergal in penning one of our New Year’s hymns strikes a note of encouragement and confidence in God:

Standing at the portal
of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us,
hushing every fear;
Spoken thru the silence
by our Savior’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful,
making us rejoice.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the day;
for His Word shall never,
never pass away.

“I, the Lord, am with thee,
be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen
be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee
With My own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen
In My sight to stand.”

For the year before us,
O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy
Living streams shall rise;
for the sad and sinful
shall His grace abound;
for the faint and feeble
Perfect strength be found.

He will never fail us,
He will not forsake;
For His eternal covenant
He will never break.
Resting on the promise,
what have we to fear?
God is all sufficient
for the coming year.

In 2009 our Provincial theme was Blessed to Bless. As we begin 2010, and continuing through to the Inter Synodal period, we shall continue to pursue the Blessing. God has a Blessings in store for each one of us and so we ought not to be like hopeless, helpless persons, we must always be in pursuit of the Blessings. The Writer of Lamentations tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning. If this is so, then the people of God must appropriate the Blessing. Its there to be claimed. We must awake and pursue it. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness”. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

In pursuing the Blessing one does not and should not be involved in wielding and dealings. One needs to remember that all our help comes from the Lord and it is upon Him that we depend.

Jacob was such a person who pursued the Blessing for the wrong reason, however when he came to his senses his life was changed forever. His pursuit was so intense that he announced, “I will not let you go until you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). In this statement that Jacob made, can be found the Presence, Power and Proclamation of the Blessing. I challenge you as you enter into 2010 to declare to God, “I will not let you go until you bless me”.

In 2010 let us pray for change and offer ourselves as instruments of transformation. We live in the faith that, in the coming of Jesus Christ, there is a new creation in which the hope of the angels’ song comes to fruition-glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace goodwill towards men. Happy New Year and walk good with God.

Rev. Dr. Cortroy Jarvis-Chairman of PEC