It's a brand new year once more--full of hope and promise, full of anticipation of what it may bring, in our own lives, in the lives of those around us and in the life of the world. New Year's Day means many things to many people--resolutions, parades, fireworks, champagne, football, to name a few. In the Episcopal Church, we celebrate New Year's Day as the Feast of the Holy Name. We celebrate the day Jesus was officially given his hame, which means "the one who saves."
But as we celebrate the new year of 2016, we also look back at the events of 2015, some of which are very hard to relive. We end one year and we begin another. And I'm reminded of a hymn which helps us reflect and seems particularly pertinent for this time in which we live. It's found in one of the supplemental Episcopal hymnals, Wonder Love and Praise. Take a moment and reflect on these words from verse one of Hymn 721, "Signs of endings all around us." I think they may express many of our own thoughts and prayers as we end 2015 and begin anew in 2016.
Signs of endings all around us--
darkness, death, and winter days
shroud our lives in fear and sadness,
numbing mouths that long to praise.
Come, O Christ, and dwell among us!
Hear our cries, come set us free.
Give us hope and faith and gladness.
Show us what there yet can be.
Those words ring in my heart.
Will we be able to give Christ our hopes and our fears in this new year? Will we be able to let Christ "show us what there yet can be?"
-- The Rev. Sue Lederhouse is rector of St. Peter's Church-on-the-Canal in Buzzards Bay. This reflection was originally published in the January 2016 issue of "The Wave" newsletter and is republished here with permission.
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