Standing at the Gate of the Year

This time next week "The King's Speech" is due to go on general release in the UK (it was apparently released in the US at the beginning of December). It is the dramatised story of King George VI, who relunctantly took the throne when his brother Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, and his relationship with the unorthodox speech therapist who helped the King conquer his stammer, so that he could speak more confidently in public.

I am not an ardent royalist, and rarely make time on Christmas Day to listen to the current Queen's speech (I'm usually either preparing the dinner, eating it or lying comatose in a chair having eaten it). That said I know the closing words of the King George VI's Christmas Speech from 1939 off by heart. That is because the Principal of my old secondary school, John Frost, finished his speech at every first day assembly with the words that King George quoted that year. The country was uncertain as to what the recently declared war against Germany might mean and what the next year would bring... And that is probably true of many people this year with mounting economic uncertainty... So, into that uncertainty, let me quote those favourite lines of John Frost and George VI

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied,
'Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!'

by Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957

May you know God's presence and blessing as you step out into the unknown of a new year.



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