In this season of the year we have two events that invite us to reflect on the past and move into the new. In the first, Jesus’s birth is seen as changing the world. John the Baptist comes before him to prepare the way. He calls the people to repentance (an invitation to take stock of what is going wrong in our lives and the world and to make a decision to change or be changed). And Jesus as the son of God–God present with us in the world (Emmanuel), the one who makes all things new (the Messiah or Christ)—makes change possible.
In the second, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one is also understood as a time to take stock—to reflect on the past and to make resolutions about changes to be made.
I can’t say that I find it easy to take advantage of what the season offers. I don’t always feel reflective. I can’t program myself to talk with and listen to Jesus in the light of some seasonal schedule, and I usually avoid making New Year’s resolutions so I won’t break them. Yet I do know that taking time for reflection and review of the past day, month, or year can open me to personal insights, create more space for the Holy Spirit’s gifts, and give me a chance to choose changes that matter.
Thank you, readers, for affording me the opportunity this past year to reflect on things that I care about and to express openings that have come to me. Whether you take time for reflection and renewal at this time of year or not, may your new year bring Spirit-filled change and rich and fulfilling newness for you.
What is important to you at this time of year?
To reflect and consider possible New Year’s resolutions, would it be easier to take time alone or to do the work encouraged by being part of a group?
As the daylight gets longer, use the natural phenomenon to make you more conscious of opening to the Light of Christ.
For further reflection:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (see John 1: 1-5).