New Year Message 2018

We used to measure time by the rising and setting of the sun and by the cycle of the moon. All this was apparent to the naked eye and needed little additional calculation. We called these days and months.
 
Then we observed the movement of the sun, and added years: and then, at some point, hours and minutes; and then named the days and months and numbered the years; and then clocks and calendars and, eventually, the pulsating throb of the mobile phone in your pocket telling you your next appointment is due and mapping all that you will do today, tomorrow and until you are no more. No wonder a wise African bishop asked why it is that we in the west have all the clocks, but they in Africa have all the time. We have become imprisoned by precision. Every moment is accounted for.
 
So Happy New Year! Happy new turning of the chapter from last year to this year. In one sense it is just another rising of the sun; but it is also an invitation to reflect.
 
How will I measure this New Year?
 
How will I measure my life?
 
Will it be by days and months? Or will it be by what I do in them and what I achieve? Or will it be by the love and generosity with which I do these things and inhabit these days?
 
So this is my prayer for the New Year: O Lord, teach me to measure my life in something other than years.

Amen.
 
Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of Chelmsford 

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