So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun. (John Lennon)
In an online class I took this past fall one of the topics we discussed were thresholds. Thresholds, such as the threshold of a door, mark transitions. You pass through the threshold of your house whenever you are going in or going out. The threshold marks the line between the two spaces and to stand in the threshold means you are neither in nor out but hold a unique view of both spaces.
The words above from John Lennon point to Christmas as being a threshold. I often think of that week between Christmas and New Year's Day (remember Christmas is a season of 12 days and not just a single day) as the transition from one year to the next, a threshold so to speak. In that time, I will often find myself thinking back and reflecting on the year past and looking forward with anticipation for the year to come.
Here in this threshold I celebrate life's little victories of the past year, such as goals achieved or differences made, and I try to leave behind that which needs to be left behind; regrets, hurts and wounds, mistakes made, and sins committed. It's a time to embrace God's promise of forgiveness while taking the lessons learned and be sure I actually learn them.
At the same time, I look ahead and dream of what can be. What are the goals for the new year? How can I be a better person twelve months from now? What can I do to help build God's kingdom in this world around me? Standing in this threshold between the old and the new, life is filled with possibility and opportunity.
It also occurs to me, however, that we are standing in another threshold. The year 2020 has been a challenging year for many and its ill-effects will be felt well into 2021. Perhaps we should examine this transition as we might the transition from one year to the next. Where have we succeeded in loving God and neighbor and where have we fallen short? How will we be different post-pandemic than we were before? How can this time be used to further the kingdom of God?
I know many want to simply forget 2020 and move on, but as we stand in this threshold there are lessons to be learned and opportunities for a better world. May we learn those lessons and seize the opportunities for God's new creation. A good threshold is a terrible thing to waste.
And so Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Let's hope it's a good one without any fear (Lennon).
This will be my last Weekly Meditation for 2020. May God bless all your holiday activities. Be safe!
Worship This Week (No In-person worship)
Facebook Live, Sunday 10am
4th Sunday of Advent: Hope In the Face of the Unknown
Christmas Eve, 7pm
Communion & Candlelight [please have your personal communion elements ready]
Keep In Prayer:
Linda Stark, Harriett Ryerson, Ellie Justice, Don Long, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne