Despite the wars and rumours of wars, which Jesus predicted, along with natural disasters, persecution, false teaching, backsliding and apostasy, the Gospel still stands as humanity's only answer (Matthew 24:4-14).

That passage concludes: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

We start the New Year with obvious and hidden dangers. The newsworthy war against Ukraine is clearly evil, but like icebergs - many of the world's dangers lie under the surface, hidden and unreported, but powerfully controlling.

Last year we mourned the death of her late Majesty The Queen. The Archbishop of York said that her personal modesty and 'lack of self' came from her consciousness that, while she was a queen to whom others bowed and curtsied, she would always bend the knee to One greater than any, Almighty God.

Christmas time and candles seem to go together. In these strange days when Ukraine is plunging into the darkness of war, precipitating energy poverty throughout Europe, the light and heat of a candle is a symbol of hope.

But is this warming little light merely: a sentimental idea, an ornamental pleasantry, or a sacramental ritual?  It is only God's truthful Word that will change dark hearts.

Overseas readers may be forgiven for feeling somewhat confused if they look at recent political events in the UK.  The people, the parliamentary party and the party membership have decided who will rule them.  But to have four Prime Ministers in four years, is quite a democratic achievement.  It says that people choose the leaders they like and then dispose of them when their choice becomes a disappointment.

It happened in a moment. Our Queen died and instantly Prince Charles became king. And soon there was an official singing of the national prayer, 'God save the King'.
When everybody does what is right in their own eyes, and sheep have no shepherd, who will dare to lead them?
It is natural to get tired. Even Jesus did. Human beings are not built as perpetual motion machines and we need our rest. But work still has to go on.
Broken finances! Yes, the cost of living is starting to control the political agenda again.
This year a grateful nation celebrates the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen's accession to the throne on 6th February 1952.
First it was the dire warnings of the destruction of our planet by global warming. Now it is the threat of nuclear war.