2021! We made it! Good Riddance 2020!
This sure does feel like a New Year to celebrate. Although, we should also remember that life is not really like a slate that we simply wipe clean of that which the previous year has written. It is more like the beginning of a new season in a Netflix series. Some of the conflicts of the previous year may have been resolved, but there will be other challenges to take their place. A few of the cast of characters might be different, but most will be returning.
The COVID vaccines are rolling out, but we need patience as we wait for all who want to be vaccinated to receive their shots. Those who lost jobs, businesses and loved ones, will take time and support to regain their equilibrium.
But you know what else won’t change with the turning of a calendar page? The God whose steadfast love for us is always a constant. The stamina, and resiliency and compassion and generosity of faithful people like yourselves. Maybe even the wisdom gained through the hard lessons of 2020, and what we discovered about ourselves and about the Church through the most difficult moments. Forging ahead with naïve optimism and forgetting the past runs the risk of repeating it. But stepping confidently into the future with a deeper assurance of what it means to be “more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) is something to truly celebrate.
So, let us launch the new year not with a party, but with a blessing.
A blessing for honoring and grieving what and who has been lost.
A blessing for what has been gained and upon which we can be build a more promising future.
And, finally, the blessing that will come with our eventual reunion from our forced separateness; offering one another the “welcome home gift” that is a deeper appreciation of what it means to be gathered in Christian community.
Grace and Peace,