Daily reading: 1 January

God created the heavens and the earth.

Something to read

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 1, 1-5, New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Welcome to the first day! The first day of creation on the first day of the year, signalling the first day of the Christian Aid daily readings. Not a bad place to start really, at the beginning, the moment when God spoke into the void and brought forth light.

We can talk about creation and subsequently talk about everything in it, from the birds to the bees, the sky and the trees, the animals and the fish or even the ladybird which is currently walking across my desk.

But the truth of the matter is, before we talk about anything else in the Bible, before we discuss anything else about creation, at the very beginning we talk about God. 'In the beginning God…' A sudden statement highlighting the key, mind-blowing fact that before all that we knew and understood came into existence God simply is!

How can you fathom such an idea? That everything we have or know or have any knowledge about in this universe has a beginning and likewise an end. Yet before all of that starts and finishes there is and will always be God.

One year has ended with its highs and lows, certainties and uncertainties, and another one begins. But as the years continue to tick over, spanning out from that first breath of God saying: 'Let there be light', as things and people come in and out of being, one thing remains constant, the one who set it all into motion, God.

God who 'so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (John 3:16) The same God who says to Joshua, and us 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' (Joshua 1:5)God who says in the person of Jesus, “I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20).

Friends, the thing to remember as this new year starts is that regardless of what this year throws at us, regardless of how many knocks we take or even how many happy occasions we enjoy, there is the one who had the power to speak the universe into being at the very beginning is there, and he is by our side every step of the way. He has been by our side up until now whether we realise it or not, whether we believe it or not, and he will be by our sideeven to the very end of the age.

Something to do

As you go about your week and you see the various bits of God's creation remind yourself in that moment that the God who set all this into motion is with you in this moment and thank him for being there for you.


God, who created the universe,
thank you for your love,
thank you for being with me through everything,
the highs and the lows.
I give to you this new year
and pray you will continue to go with me
in to the things yet unseen
directing my paths in your ways,
helping me to live a life pleasing to you,
with you at the heart of it.
In the name of Jesus Christ, 

Today's contributor is Joshua Norris, a minister with the United Reformed Church.