St Bride's: Sermons

A Glass Half Full?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Someone for whom the glass is half empty or half full? At the beginning of a new year we often reflect on the past twelve months and look ahead to the future, set ourselves some new goals and resolve to try not to repeat the mistakes we have made during the year just ended.

Our Christian faith encourages us to do this in the context of hope and expectation. The Bible teaches us that God alone offers promises for the future which can be relied on. He is a rock which cannot be moved (Deuteronomy 32: 4), a refuge and a fortress which offer ultimate security even in the midst of affliction (Proverbs 14: 26). We respond by putting our trust in him, and in confident expectation of future gladness which allows us to rejoice in the present.

So we can be expectant, confident, patient and eager as we look ahead to what 2008 may bring. This doesn't imply a shallow or unfeeling response in the face of difficulty or tragedy, but it does mean that whatever happens we need not despair. God can turn impossible situations into opportunities for good, if we are willing to be open to the future.

So is 2008 a glass half full or a glass half empty? It must be a glass half full - an opportunity for something new, a blessing to be received, a kindness to be shown, love to be shared. Seize the glass, then, and drink from it because the sacrament of the present moment is to be embraced and experienced and lived to the full. As the poet Felix Dennis puts it:

"Stands the glass half empty,
Or stands the glass half full?
Hand me the decanter man,
I'll take another pull."

Have a hopeful and productive New Year!

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