December 31, 2016
by Diane Jorgensen
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy
click here for photo and information about the writer

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 204

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

Celebrating Christmas home page

Christmas Daily Prayer

Making New Year's Resolutions
Why should I make any New Year's resolutions? I never keep them.
A New Beginning,
with a New Relationship with Jesus

As I was walking through the hallway in the College of Nursing the other day, I noticed a folk art sign displayed in one of the faculty offices. It read Not to spoil the ending, but everything is going to be OK

What a wonderful reminder to have handy when we get caught up with worries about tasks to accomplish, conflicts to sort out, relationships to mend or are confronted with the forces of evil that threaten our families, our neighborhood, our world and our sanity.  The readings for today also serve as a powerful reminder of Who had the First Word and the First Act…and Who has the Last Word and Act… each and every time, for all time. We need to hear these words as much today as the early Christians some 2000 years ago.

On this last day of the year, as we recall events in our personal lives, our families and communities, or around the globe it can be tempting to spend too much time pondering our shortcomings, blaming others, or throwing up our hands in despair at the many “antichrists” that have appeared, or remained, throughout the year.  It would be better to spend more effort noticing where God has passed and where grace has made its presence felt. It is in these moments that we can better appreciate the words of todays’ gospel:

 In the beginning was the Word, …
And the Word was God…
All things came to be through him…
What came to be through him was life,
And this life was the light of the human race;
The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness has not overcome it…
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,
And we saw his glory…
Full of grace and truth...
Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

In the Thirteenth “Showing.” (revelation) of God’s abiding love, Julian of Norwich, anchoress of the 14th Century, explores the mystery of sin and evil, and reveals the truth as it was shown to her. Sin (and all the forces of evil) is inevitable, but all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. Paradoxically, even in the midst of personal or social sin or systemic evil, we are held by God and never separated from the Divine Presence. This is no naïve expression of faith. Julian was a child when three quarters of the population of Norwich died within a year from the plague. Her life and those of her community were scarred and shortened from the effects of famine, war and political turbulence. She labored to understand these horrors with a mind and heart of faith.

We are given multiple opportunities each day to recognize truth and grace. Today we hear the truth about who the world belongs to, who we belong to, and who we are in Christ. We are reminded that there will be forces that try to lead us astray, but we know and recognize the voice of Jesus as the voice of grace and truth.

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