The New Year
Very much like last Sunday (Christmas Day) this too is an unusual Sunday. It ‘s New Year’s Day, the beginning of a new year. By the time we gather the new year will be all of eleven hours old. Remember it’s one service is at 11:00am. For some of us, it may be only a few hours old depending on how much sleep we got on New Year’s Eve. For others of us it’s about what happened at the football games yesterday or even throughout the previous week. Notice that all of that involves looking back. Today, however, we begin to look ahead.
Every previous year, no matter our age, has built a foundation upon which the next year stands. For some that foundation may be less stable like the metaphor utilized by Jesus of building houses on sand. For others what has gone before is rock solid. No matter the construction or even the stability, we still continue to build on what we’ve been, what we’ve seen, what we’ve experienced, and even what we’ve become.
And yet, we’re not done. It is often on this day or throughout this week that we set out those New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s the challenge. Most psychologists will tell us that New Year’s Resolutions are simply a waste of time and energy. Unless we have already done the hard work of figuring out who we are before making those resolutions. They continue to state that who we are is based on what we believe; believe about ourselves, about the world, about our needs, and about our own identity. It is only upon that foundation of honest, hard, time consuming mental work can we have any ability to be transformed. So that’s where we begin today. Today is Epiphany Sunday, the Sunday of realizations that can bring hope, love, grace, identity and transformation. It was so for the Wise Men. It can be for us. To prepare please read Matthew 2: 1 – 12 and 7: 24 – 29.