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January 2017 - Happiness.

“Happiness, happiness the greatest gift that I possess”, and so sang Ken Dodd those many years ago. All of us will use the greeting “Happy New Year” in these early days of the New Year.

Ken Dodd was right, but of course we know that for some this will not be so. The unhappiness of loneliness, family discord, homelessness, poverty and, on a much bigger and more dreadful scale, being constantly bombed, maimed and injured and exiled bring constant misery.

How do we begin to wish such people happiness? Well - do you remember the film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness based on the true story of Gladys Aylward, a tenacious British maid, who became a missionary in China, particularly for war orphaned children, during the tumultuous years leading up to World War II? She referred to the Sixth Happiness which is spiritual contentment; an inward joy that energises external activity.

Jesus asked her, and us all, to look to him to realise what it is to be spiritually happy with God even as he and God were one, bringing such blessings for the whole of humankind.

Inner happiness is essential if we are to bring happiness to the world in both our local situation and on the global scale but it must first be in each one of us. So when I wish you a Happy New Year I hope I am sharing that sense of spiritual joy that God’s grace has placed within me.

So - a very Happy New Year to you all.


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