I wonder what you are looking forward to …

I do hope that you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be an enormous event or something expensive you are purchasing, but we all need something to look forward to, especially when times are hard. In the last few months, many have looked forward to the Coronation and the events that were organised in celebration of the crowning of King Charles III. I looked forward to the event that the church planned for Belton and what a great afternoon it was.

When I worked in an office, many of my colleagues looked forward to a weekend. Many people look forward to holidays; parents to the school holidays when they can spend more time with their children. Some people look forward to the time when they can enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, others to a time when family can gather together. We are all different and will have different hopes and dreams, desires and priorities and, of course, needs.

I must admit I look forward to holidays; time to read and time to enjoy quality time with Tim and the countryside around me, wherever we happen to be. And I look forward to times when I get to see my children, and especially my grandchildren. It’s not often possible because they live in Malawi, but it is always in my hopes and dreams.

I also look forward to a time when there is no more sickness, no more death, and no more tears and sorrow. It’s a vision and a promise contained in the Bible, which is sometimes read or spoken about at funerals. It is one of the passages that the Christian belief of life after death in the Kingdom of God is based upon; that and the words from Jesus on the cross to the criminal on the cross who believed in him “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”     Revelation 21: verses 1-5

But before that time, I look forward to a time when there is less poverty than we currently have: with high-interest rates, expensive fuel & gas & electricity prices, and the massive rise in the cost of living that is putting an enormous squeeze on everyone’s budgets. I never thought I would see what I am seeing in my lifetime. We are beginning to get referrals to the Pantry Foodbank for people who have tried their hardest to get through this difficult time but have sadly been unable to do so without some help.

Whatever it is that you are looking forward to – hold on to your hopes and dreams – they are so important. I heard someone say recently that their Bucket List dream was to see Beluga Whales in their natural environment, and although my hopes and dreams have a different focus, it was good to hear about it and encourage her in it.

My hope is that as a community, the churches and organisations in our area can work towards this world being a better place…. And it will be if only we care for it and one another as we work towards that hope and dream.