7th January 2022

The Christmas cards have been taken down – and I promise myself I’ll write to those who were kind enough to share their news. Some cards sent wishes for a better 2022 – and at the time of reading – I didn’t feel terribly inclined to dwell on the reasons why we might wish for a better year next year. Perhaps I wanted to be wrapped up in all the joy of Christmas and forget it all for a while… but God comes to us where we are, in all the mess and complexity and difficulties of our lives – which is the Good News in it all – so perhaps I just needed to shift my perspective.

As much as I wasn’t too unhappy to leave behind 2021 as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and the fireworks went off across Bristol; I also give thanks to God and am moved by all that was done in 2021 to make things better for the year ahead. Working in medical research, I am naturally drawn to highlight Prof. Dame Sarah Gilbert’s Dimbleby Lecture about the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and to reflect on how much has been learnt about the virus and its treatment in such a short space of time, improving patient care.

BBC’s Songs of Praise this week quoted Isaiah 40:31 “but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Wishing you a hope-full 2022, in which we can run without wearying!

Ruth Allen