“As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.”
The last week has been a ‘time-in-between’ time. With Christmas eve falling on a Monday and Christmas on a Tuesday, I have found myself feeling as if I am unsure what day of the week it actually is. These days between Christmas and New Year’s always have that quality of stream of consciousness, time suspended, don’t they? Nothing has a predictable rhythm. There are friends or family to see that you don’t see in the course of a normal week. There are parties on weekdays as well as weekends. The normal routine of work is interrupted by the celebrations of both holidays. It can feel like a strange time, a time that can make you long for the normal, the regular, the routine. It has been a time that has been so odd that I have not even made it to the computer to post anything in this space.
And yet I can say with assurance that the celebration of Christmas was lovely. We carried on traditions that have anchored us for years and will, God willing, do so for years to come. To sing the songs and tell the familiar story, to see the excitement of children spill over into our lives like a waterfall of joy is an unrivaled infusion of spirit. There is such purity in it all. I find I want to hold onto it, clasp it to my chest in the hope of keeping its light alive for the next 364 days. But, of course, this is impossible. Perhaps the gift of this suspended time between the holidays is the reminder of the fragile, fleeting nature of all time.
Tomorrow we will usher in a new year. 2013. It seems a big number and one that does not trip of the tongue as others have. Like many, I am wondering what the year will bring. How will I, how will you, be changed in this next year? What adventures does the year have in store for us? What lessons, what challenges will be offered? It is all still
in the realm of Mystery and for that I am thankful.
This morning in worship we reflected on the covenants we have made in our lives. We spent some time in silence honoring those covenants and giving ourselves an opportunity to recommit to them once again. For another year. For the beginning of this new journey we are calling 2013. Remembering the covenants made throughout time, we allowed the Spirit to move in the cracks and crevices, the spaces and slits of these covenants with another, an organization, a job, a dream, a hope, with ourselves. It seemed a holy, precious time in the midst of this suspended season.
What are the covenants you carry with you into this new year? To what are you giving yourself in 2013? How are you stepping out into the chill of this January journey? What gift of Christmas travels just below the surface of your skin or deep in your beating heart?
The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.’ And so it is. We find ourselves on the cusp of yet another year. May we walk into the gift that is 2013 knowing we are held by the One who breathed us into being and who continues to hold out to us yet one more day, yet one more year. May we cherish each step along the way and be open to all the year may bring.
Happy New Year! Blessed be.