New Year message: pray for peace and healing

January 1, 2023

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Mark Strange, prays for peace and healing in 2023 in his New Year message:

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3.17)

As I look out towards Morven, the highest hill in Caithness, I have watched vehicles that have skirted round the mountains on their way to visit the homes of families and friends across the North. I consider what stories they will be sharing with those they meet up with as we welcome the New Year.

At this time, people speak of the joys and the sadnesses of the year past and the hopes and dreams for the year to come. Stories are shared and memories rekindled.

It has been 12 months of great anxiety and fear for many, and the turning of the year will not change that. We are still aware of the relentless missile attacks on Ukraine, just as we are aware of the hardships so many people face as the cost of living crisis looms across so many places and communities. And in other parts of the world, the fear of famine and drought still stalk so many people.

But many of us have also shared in moments of joy, the arrival of new life, the meeting of old friends, receiving good news, being affirmed and loved by others. Life is forever changing and is forever surprising. We really don’t know what 2023 will bring.

I pray that peace will be found in Ukraine, I pray that our planet can begin to heal and I also pray for the people I will meet, the decisions I will make and the effect those interactions will have on those around me. We all have our part to play in the year to come and I pray that you and I will heed the words of St Paul:

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.