Last weekend Gill and I stayed with my mother who lives at one of the highest points in south London. On New Year’s Eve we walked the short distance to the top of her road where we joined around two hundred others watching the midnight fireworks from the London Eye. It’s a pity so many others had the same idea(!), but actually what we could see seemed rather small and unspectacular from several miles away.
Returning to Fleet we were able to watch a recording of the same fireworks, but this time being, as it were, close-up, the display was stunning, brilliantly coordinated and very dramatic.
Reflecting on this I was reminded of the words in Luke 22v54: “Peter followed at a distance”. It was the night of Jesus’ arrest and trial, and Peter’s three-fold denial of the Lord. Being at a distance meant that Peter was away from the Lord’s presence and protection and instead exposed to fear, temptation and failure.
As we enter this New Year how close are each of us to Jesus? A Christian pilgrimage which is ‘at a distance’ not only exposes us to the dangers that Peter faced – it also means we miss so much of the action and life at the Lord’s side. One way of drawing closer to Him is through daily reading of the Bible, the Word of God, and I am encouraged that a number have started systematic plans to read through the Bible at least once in 2017. Don’t worry if you’ve not yet begun such a scheme – but why not start today?
May God help us all to follow Him closely, and not at a distance, throughout 2017. Let’s also remember that as we seek to draw near to God, so He will draw near to us (James 4v8a).
Happy New Year!
Peace and Grace