Archives for January 2014
Text: John 1:1-6, 9-18
According to the church calendar, this is the twelfth of twelve days of Christmas, the final day of feasting that leads from the celebration of Jesus’ birth to the arrival of the magi. But as far as the rest of the world is concerned, it’s the fifth day of a new year and Christmas is a distant memory. Most of our resolutions have already failed, and we’re now back to school or work and all the ordinary challenges and mundane activities of daily life.
When I say that for some of us our New Year’s resolutions have already failed I’m speaking for myself. This year, Karla, Nora and I decided to do a little ritual at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The idea was that each of us would write on a small piece of paper one thing that we wanted to do less of or let go of in 2014; and on another piece of paper write down what we wanted to do more of or invite into our lives in 2014. It was agreed at the outset that there would be no sharing—that seemed important to two members of the group. After we had inscribed on our small pieces of paper our let-gos and our invite-ins, we then, one at a time, burned our pieces of paper. First our let-gos. After each of us would burn our paper we would say together, “Let it go, let it go, let it go.” The burning was a symbol of letting go, or releasing—those things we wanted less of in our lives. Then, we burned our second piece of paper. The things we wanted to invite into our lives. And as we burned those we chanted, “Let it in, let it in, let it in” symbolizing us sending our prayers out into the universe for what we want more of in our lives in 2014.
None of us have spoken of what we wrote on our papers. That is until now. On my piece of paper of what I wanted to do less of or let go of was: 1) my need to have more control than necessary; and 2) my tendency to sound angry when trying to discuss boundaries and limits with Nora. Now here’s the confession: I didn’t make it 24 hours before I had failed both of my resolutions. The very next day, I spoke angrily to Nora about the state of things in her room. And there it was—my need to control and my tendency to sound angry. Day one and I already felt defeated with my New Year’s resolutions or intentions. Which says to me that maybe I need to spend a little more time with the Christmas story and its meaning. And who better than the writer of the Gospel of John to help me do that.