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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,  “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation…”  …At that moment [the prophet Anna] came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.            –Luke 2:28-30, 38

The stories of prophets Simeon and Anna encountering the baby Jesus at his temple consecration are not so much predictions of the future as they are symbols of passing the torch of Truth from one generation to another.     

Both Simeon and Anna have reached old age with their hopes, dreams and visions of a new world still unfulfilled.  And then they see a young couple with a new baby following the prescribed rituals of their faith. 

If we can enter that moment without encumbering it with all that we have come to believe about this family and especially the baby; if we can see this story as an ordinary human encounter in which the extraordinary breaks through, then something about the moment opens their and our eyes to see what others cannot see: the past and future coming together in new life, new possibility, new promise, new hope.

Perhaps the Truth they see, proclaim and pass on to us is the knowledge that tomorrow is created today.  What ever we think, feel, and believe in our deepest conscience today is what tomorrow becomes.

One thing that usually gets said about Christmas is that we should live every day as if it were a day of peace and good will.  So why not extend the same message to New Year’s Day and live every day as if it were a new beginning leaving behind the old and stepping into promise and potential?  Why not embrace the call of the psalmist?  “This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice be glad in it.”

Jesus comes as the embodiment of new life and a new world – a new life and new world that according to him is already here if we but only choose to live in it.  And what we choose today becomes tomorrow.

A Prayer for the New Year

God of time and space, known by many names and sought through many traditions, as a new year begins we are reminded of your Eternal Presence.  Beyond this moment and this place your Spirit bonds all creation in a tapestry of interdependence, transcending vested interests and personal privilege.   

Standing on the threshold of a new year may we forgive any discord, mistrust and disappointment of our past, as you have forgiven, and may we receive your grace-filled future of promise and potential that awaits nothing more or less than our open minds, our loving hearts, and our open arms stretched out to one another and thus to you.     Amen.       

1 comment:

  1. "tomorrow is created today" and the fact we are developing our own tomorrows hits the nail on the head, Andy. I'm sure it is a great surprise to all the people who like to blame others. When did you get to be so smart?