Minister’s December Message
December 01, 2016
Jeanne is away for a few days well-earned rest before the onslaught of Christmas, so we have decided to publish the following New Year message; This was written 100 years ago by the Rev James Fraser the Minister of Greenbank whose three sons were away at war. He wrote this, his 1917 New Year Letter:
My Dear Friends,
Just a word to wish you all the old, old wish “A Happy New Year”. But some may say in these troubled days of war when thousands of homes are in sorrow and anxiety is it right, is it appropriate to address to each other this old wish?
Can there be any real happiness to anyone today, especially to any one whose family and friends have paid the supreme sacrifice or who are in uncertainty about the fate of loved ones far away? No. It is only natural that they should have a passing sadness at this New Year when families and friends gather round the domestic hearth.
To many, a desolate home the past year will never be forgotten. At the same time I believe that the old wish is perfectly justifiable and is quite appropriate in present circumstances for it includes comfort to the sorrowful, strength to the weak, encouragement to the downhearted and nothing is finer to see than the brave, cheerful, patient, spirit manifested by the majority of those who have come through the fires of suffering. Their losses have been painful, their bereavements have been trying, their sorrows have been searching, but through it and in all they have shown a determination. That does not slacken their hands from work and they have exhibited a brightness of spirit that has done good to others as well as themselves.
We earnestly hope and pray that before this year is very old there may come forth peace but before peace we want righteousness.
We can earnestly pray for peace, a permanent and honourable peace and not a patched up peace. We trust in God and in our valiant men by sea and land and, in our hours of anxiety and sadness, let us through prayer and faith cast every care upon him assured that he cares for us. While we would linger over the past, the future calls us and every one must turn and do his part.
“The past is a story told. The future may be writ in gold”.
Rev James Fraser
Angus McIntyre Fraser, Rev Fraser’s youngest son, died on 19th June 1918 at the No. 30 Military Hospital in Calais aged just 25.
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