December 31, 2014
Barbara Dilly

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
click here for photo and information about the writer

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 204

1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96:1-2, 11-12, 13
John 1:1-18

Celebrating Christmas

Daily Christmas Prayer

As another year comes to an end, we prepare ourselves to start anew in various ways – resolving to remedy some aspect of our human failings by making New Year’s resolutions.  Usually we resolve to be more self-disciplined or more loving.  Rarely do we resolve to be more confident in testifying of the light of Jesus Christ or to be more joyful in living out God’s justice.  I am wondering if our resolutions reflect the way we experienced Christmas.  If Christmas is a celebration of over-indulging on food, drink, and gift-giving, we probably will feel like we need to resolve to be more self-disciplined or more loving. 

But if Christmas is a season of enlightenment, then it very well can be a time of renewal and repurposing.   We could come up with some really life changing resolutions that would enable us to “sing to the Lord a new song” instead of our old attempts to achieve our own salvation by being better people.  We seem to always fail at that.  The Psalm today reminds us that our salvation is already here.  So then how can we move forward into the New Year more confidently?  What is the new song the Lord wants from us?

Each of us has to figure that out in our own lives, but in general, it is clear that it should be a song of gladness and joy.  It should be a song that recognizes that God is among us and has given us the power to be the children of God.  If we really celebrated the truth of God’s love for our humanity this Christmas, then we can join with all creation to live in the light of Christ and the justice of God.  My prayer today is that each of us will resolve to repurpose our lives in God’s love for us as we continue to celebrate Christmas and begin a new year.  If the details follow a general focus on joy and gladness, the results will amaze us! 

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