Kelly Enright is Engagement & Communications Manager with Arotahi (NZBMS) and loves a delicious, single-origin brew of coffee.

At New Year, I’m still in the hangover of Advent. I sort of love that the 2 calendar events are only 1 week apart – a new year, the aftermath of Kirihimete. 

We’ve been waiting, anticipating, whispering prayers threaded with hope. The longing fulfilled, we’re now thrust forward – how will the gift we have just received shape our plans, attitudes, and hearts over the next 52 weeks? After a week of joy and deep peace, that little baby is now beckoning us forward.  

Last week I was chatting about my work with someone I had just met, when her daughter sincerely asked me, “what’s mission?”  

I thought about it for a second (slightly embarrassed that I didn't have a quick answer for this 8-year-old), before proposing that maybe mission could be explained as action with a purpose. She seemed to think that made enough sense for her and skipped away, but I’ve been thinking a bit about that since. Maybe action with a purpose simplifies it all too much, but maybe now’s a good time to return to basics? 

If Christmas births our purpose, then the new year compels us to act on it. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my favourite writers. Sitting in his basement prison cell in the Prinz-Albrecht-Straße Gestapo headquarters in Berlin at the close of 1944, he penned this new year’s poem:  

“With every power for good to stay and guide me, 

comforted and inspired beyond all fear, 

I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me, 

and pass, with you, into the coming year. 

While all the powers of Good aid and attend us, 

boldly we’ll face the future, be it what may. 

At even, and at morn, God will befriend us, 

and oh, most surely on each new year’s day! 

 That was Bonhoeffer’s final new year, before execution by the Third Reich. “Comforted and inspired beyond all fear” - brave words to write in a lonely cell, neighboured only by darkness and tortured prison-mates. “I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me” - and yet the baby, the prince of peace, the purpose, lay beside him within those four walls.  

I guess the best part about this whole thing is that our purpose, was God’s action. Jesus was God’s way of enacting the mission – to reconcile all of creation to Godself. Our action is only possible because of God’s action. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). And as Bonhoeffer so eloquently reminds us, each dark evening and each new morning that little pēpi befriends us afresh; the true miracle of the mission is that it’s already happening.  

All that to say – now’s as good a time as ever to get up and get lovin’! I’ll see ya out there.  


Photo supplied by Kelly Enright.

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