This morning I counted the days of Christmas to realize that New Year’s Day falls on the 8th day of this short season. According to the song, the traditional gift would be “eight maids a milking.” I don’t know about you, but that’s one gift I have never asked for.
The gift of a new beginning, though, is welcome. Every morning offers the chance to begin again, but a new year feels like an especially fresh start. The buzz around new year’s resolutions demonstrate how many take this opportunity to make a change, stopping something old or starting something new.
This coming Sunday, we will hear the beautiful prologue of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”
The Word is Christ - and just as Christ was present at The Beginning, Christ is an integral part of every new beginning. His life and death and resurrection in Jesus had such an impact on human history that time (BC/AD) literally turns on the Incarnation. If you want to seize the promise of a new year, there’s no better companion for the journey.
I invite you to join me for a January series, Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. John’s gospel and epistle tell the story of a God who is love and who so loved the world that God sent a Son to give us life. This Son, Jesus, became flesh and lived among us in order to reveal God’s love to us, to lay down his life for us, and gather us into a community that will share God’s love with the whole world. The gospel not only teaches us about God, but invites us into a relationship as beloved children and friends. When we know ourselves to be loved unconditionally, we can love others with the same deep love that has been shared so generously with us.
We’ll meet on Wednesdays for 5 weeks, beginning January 3 from 6:30-8 pm in the parish hall library. I’m so thankful to the Society of St. John the Evangelist and Virginia Theological Seminary for providing materials for this study to download and print. I have hard copies available as well.
Whether you have known Jesus your whole life or come to know Jesus as an adult, as we grow and change our relationship matures and opens new opportunities. With a new year just around the corner, how might God be calling you in 2018 into a more deeply abiding relationship? How can we open ourselves to more fully receive the greatest Christmas gift of all?
Grace and peace,