Well, here we are at the cusp of a brand new 2009, all full of resolutions and good intentions. (I don’t know about you, but I’m also still full of cookies and fudge from the holidays!)
In yesterday’s sermon I talked about how January is often a letdown. Named after the Roman god Janus, January was seen as a gateway into something new. Janus was the god of doorways and gates and had two faces, one looking backwards and one looking forward. He was often invoked at times of transition (weddings, for example).
As I look outside my window this morning, it’s another cloudy, gray January Monday. Several people who’ve come into the office today begin conversation with, “It’s cold out there!” Weather.com tells me there may be snow flurries later in the week. The dullness of January weather echoes the dullness many of us feel after the energy and spice of the holidays. Here we are, back to the everydayness.
Some of us make it through January by making (and possibly even keeping) resolutions about making our lives a little healthier, or accomplishing some personal goal. Some of us park in front of the sports networks for all the basketball we can handle and the end of the pro football season. There’s nothing wrong with either resolutions or sports (at least I hope not, since I’ve made a couple of the former and enjoy watching the latter). But as Christians, we also have an opportunity to look at things in a new way.
We’ve entered the doorway to a new year, and we can close the door on the old one. In this year spread out before you, what are your hopes and dreams? What are your plans? How will you make this year count for something important? Advent and Christmas have come and gone, but their themes of hope and promise are the same themes that come from the newness of January. We’re not just at the end of the partying. We’re at the beginning of something new. Whatever it is that is not right with us, by the grace of God we have a new year in front of us in which to work on it. This is the gift of newness, the gift of hope, the gift of a new year.
So, dust 2008 off your shoes and get ready for the adventure that is 2009! All God’s blessings to you in it.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2009