Texts: Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 3:15-22
January can be a difficult month. The stress and frantic pace of the holidays now linger behind us. Expectations met and unmet rest on our hearts, minds, and souls. Many of us have returned to old routines, which can be both comforting and unsettling. Some of us have pledged to ourselves to break old habits and patterns; and now, on January 10, we have a sense of how well we are doing or not doing with our hopes for 2010. Yes, right about now, we are either feeling good about ourselves or we have dipped down into that place of weariness and longing. It is not uncommon in the holiday aftermath, along with the short days, longs nights, and bitter cold to feel a bit blue—to feel a sense of restlessness and emptiness. Maybe that’s why the lectionary texts for this Sunday focus on the theme of being God’s beloved.