What Does the New Year Mean?

The wrapping paper remnants are finding their way to the trash. One by one, we remember the gifts that were given to us and we smile at the thoughts of children in this season. For some of us (myself included), we find ourselves away from home and yet at home with others — family — whether by birth or choice. And with a new year less than a week away, I wonder:

What Does the New Year Mean?

Clearly, our culture sees it as a time to make resolutions — promises — hopeful expectations of how we will act, what we will achieve, who we will become in the year ahead. And yet how many of us have stopped making those statements because of all the years we fell short. Yet, to be sure, it wasn’t ALWAYS our “fault” that things didn’t come true. We do, after all, live in a 3-dimensional world where we are affected by energies and people around us. (I think here of the housing collapse in 2008-9 and the recent recession.)

There have been a lot of comments and fear expressed about the year ahead by those who did not support the victorious presidential candidate, for sure. Only time will tell if they are warranted. I published something on Facebook the other day and have been surprised by the responses.  I said this:

You know, I have been asked a lot in the last six weeks how to feel about the election. Usually the people asking are devastated by the results. There are two things that come to me as a Presbyterian:

#1) We don’t know God’s plan, but we listen to the voice of the majority and we honor the voice of the minority. We never presume to know which is exhibiting the will of God. It will make itself known in time.

#2) Related to that, I still believe that a la Genesis, Joseph and his brothers, “You meant it for ill but God meant it for good.” Good … deep planetary- changing, radical peace-mongering good can and will come out of anything. It’s all in how we look at it, the meaning we give to it, and the energy we derive from it. The crucifixion was devastating to his followers, the resurrection has been life-changing for the world.

Everything will work out OK in the end.
If it’s not OK… It’s not the end.
It’s our job to continue to live as Micah said (6:8) “to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

All will be well. And we are called to work for the Kingdom of God to be made manifest in our lives.
Blessings and peace!

Part of me wants to say that we can get through this time with someone in charge who doesn’t hold our values … but friends, that’s just what others have been saying for eight years, isn’t it?

Some of us say, “Privilege? I don’t know that I have any privilege. I have to work very hard for everything that I get in life.” True, ‘nuf. But if we can’t SEE what others have been upset about and what pushed them to work for change such as this, then we are TRULY living with the privilege of disconnection! And frankly, friends, we can’t AFFORD to be disconnected anymore. We, as a COUNTRY, cannot afford to be disconnected.

Too many of us have lost the art of “agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable.” And don’t tell me, “Well, Pastor, I TRY to do that but the other people are just so ANNOYING.”  Get over it … we keep trying because, as Jesus says, we must forgive 70 times 7 times … and WE have to stop looking at the speck in someone else’s eye when we can’t see the BOULDER in our own.

This is not a partisan post.

This applies equally to right-handed and left-handed people … to country- and city-dwellers … to Buffalo Bills supporters and detractors … and yes, to those who wear eye glasses and those who don’t.  We are all people, people. We all “sin and fall short of the glory of God.”

And the New Year?  I’ll tell you what it means … it’s a do-over. We can be involved and try a different way … or we can keep on keeping on as we have been.  We can get involved … or we can complain. We can reach out … or we can keep our hands to our sides and wonder why everybody’s disconnected.

We are the Body of Christ in the world.

What Would Jesus Do?????