Daily Reflection
January 2nd, 2008

Barbara Dilly

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
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It is still Christmas for Christians. We have seen the fulfillment of the prophecies of old in the birth of Christ. The Christmas story leaves us all pretty confident of God’s promises right now. But we aren’t always so confident. There are all sorts of people and circumstances in our lives that shake our confidence in our faith despite the fact that “all the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God” and the Lord’s wondrous deeds. Have we not been shown God’s kindness in our lives? Have we not seen the faithfulness of the Lord? Have we not seen God’s salvation? Have we not seen his justice at work? Today is a good time to reflect on these questions. The psalmist says these acts of the saving power of God are everywhere. We should all be able to see them in our lives. It is good to take time to write these questions down and to follow them with personal examples in our own lives. If we can’t think of any examples, maybe we should visit our pastor or priest for a conversation.

When I was younger, I used to visit my pastor once a year for a discussion about my spiritual growth and direction. It was not the same thing as going to confession before participating in holy communion, which is something we also used to do, but don’t do any more. I haven’t had one of those meetings in years because I got more disciplined in my spiritual life with reading, prayer, and reflection. And I got a lot busier. But meeting with the pastor each year did have the effect of holding me more accountable for my spiritual growth and I think I should begin the practice again. It is my New Year’s Resolution this year to get back into that habit.

What do I expect to gain from that? I think the lessons for today are instructive. There is always the presence of Christ in my life that I don’t recognize. God is always revealing his justice in ways that I don’t see. I need to ‘make straight the way of the Lord’ so I can sing more joyfully a new song to the Lord in this New Year! And I pray for a more confident community of faith among all God’s people that we may all see God’s justice, kindness, and faithfulness.

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