When travelling through farming districts, it is common to be reminded, by a sign fixed to a gate, “Please close the gate”. Failure to do so, could allow valuable stock to wander away.

On the first day of the New Year, it is a day for gate-shutting. Where, for instance, a decision has been made, let that judgement be final. The car has been sold; the house bought; the contract signed; the situation declined; the step taken cannot be retraced. A wise person will firmly and finally shut the gate. It is better that way.

If the paddocks behind us contain any creatures that we do not wish to meet again, like fear or gloom, let us carefully close the gate.

Let us forget the things that troubled and tried us, the worrying things that caused our souls to fret, the hopes that, deeply cherished, were still denied us. Let us forget the little slights that grieved us, the greater wrongs that still rankle, the pride that has been hurt. Let us close the gate.

It is great to be able to walk in green pastures and beside still waters with the Good Shepherd, unafraid of anything that we have left in the troubled fields behind us.

Rev. Gordon