Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year. One and All.

It's a new year. 2012. How do you feel about that? Excited? Nervous? Scared? Happy?

To be quite honest: I don't know myself. I'm not exactly excited. Not nervous. Not scared. Not really happy. I'd say neutral, at best. Which is funny, because, for the last three or so years, I always had this inexplicable feeling of dread. I was so frightened of what would happen when the ball would drop, ushering in the celebrations of a whole new year. Funny, right?

This year, I kind of decided, there was nothing to fear. Nothing to be nervous about. Sure, I don't know what will happen. But, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, the sun will come up in the East come morn, and set in the west once evening falls. What's that verse? Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Something like that.

And yet, the new year could mean something to people. Perhaps it means the first year without a loved one. In that case, I am sorry. I will grieve for you, with you. If that is the case, I dearly hope that this new year will be a year of mending and healing. Of comfort and joy, with the sorrow fading, but the memory of love ever lingering.

A new year could mean one of fear. Of the unknown. Perhaps you fear the unknown. You fear of failures to come, of no tomorrow. You're scared out of your wits that you will be hated, that your darkest secrets will come to light this year, and you will be abhorred for them. If that is the case, I do hope and pray that they do come to light. But, in doing so, they become demolished, and you find forgiveness. And in that forgiveness, you find freedom.

One last thing. Perhaps this year means hope. A fresh start. New beginnings. I do hope this is the case. I want your mistakes of last year - and all previous ones - to wash away. I want you to live this new year in the light, with you pushing ever onward as a new creature.

And, really, I wish this on everyone. I hope and pray that you all realize that you can be comforted, that you can be made brave - can put faith in Someone who will always hold you up and close in the face of the unknown, and Who can give you a new beginning. A fresh start. Who can wash away those sins and say, "You are a new creature. My beloved child."

Happy New Year! May it be blessed and full of grace!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Lord is good.

I heard in a sermon today that we often forget the real meaning of the season. The Christmas season, that is. And, I couldn't help but think that, perhaps, it's not so much that we forget. It's that we simply take it for granted.

How often to you forget you're breathing? All the time, right? And, it's not that you've forgotten to breathe, heavens, no. You can't forget to breathe. It's impossible, because it's an involuntary action, one completely controlled by your sub-conscious, much like the beating of your heart, you can't turn it off. But, you don't always remember that you're doing it. Not until you think about it (My guess? You're paying attention to your breathing right now because of this li'l ol' paragraph. ;] ).

It's a bit like Christmas. We all know (though perhaps we may not all agree) the meaning and story behind it. How can't we? We see the nativities everywhere, we hear 'Silent Night' fifty times a day, and it is one of the special occasions people who don't normally go to church go to church. But, for how many of us does it still remain special? For how many of us does Christmas remain a sacred time?

Breathing is taken for granted, and yet it's very nearly the very essence of living.

Christ came down on Christmas day, from His rightful place as the Son of God, to be human, and eventually to be crucified on the cross for our sins. He died so we can live. He is the very essence of living. And we take His birth for granted.

Guys. We're really stupid. Really, really stupid. We do stupid things. Think stupid things. We're just stupid. We're full of sin, which is pretty much while we're stupid.... And, seriously. Take a step back, and look at yourself. Truly, deeply, look at yourself. You are despicable. I should know. 'Cuz so am I.

And, yet, here we have a baby born 2,000 or so years ago that loves us way more than we could ever love ourselves. A baby.

The Lord is good. We can all go on all day long complaining about our lives, our family situations, our work, whatever. And we can do it all on before, on, and after Christmas day. And so forget why we give each other gifts, and just take for granted that we're celebrating the day at all.

The Lord's too good for us. And He still came.

Merry Christmas.