“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning
but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instil in us.”
What beautiful, and pertinent, Scriptures, for this liminal time: the old year making way minute by minute for the new …
… like Mary emerging from the period of ritual separation or purification following her son’s birth to present Jesus at the temple and offer her sacrifice of doves (Luke 2:22) …
… or Simeon, who had been waiting his whole life for the coming of the consolation of Israel, declaring that he was ready to be released in peace now that the Light was out in the open for everyone to see (Luke 2:29-30) …
… or faithful Anna, an elderly prophetess who spent all her time at the temple, fasting and praying, now breaking into an anthem of praise and thanksgiving to God at their Redemption come into the world (Luke 2:37-38) ….
blazing down like the sun at dawn;
flaming up like a torch in the darkness (Isaiah 62:1)
– that now
when the fullness of time had come,
we might receive the Spirit of adoption
in our hearts
through that self-same child
not because of anything that we have
or not done,
but because God has clothed us
with the garment of salvation
and covered us
with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).
In this liminal space, we have the opportunity to experience neither a beginning nor an end, but an ongoing growth and transition
from slave to child,
from child to heir,
and in God
and through God (Galatians 4:7).
Our experience of
the earth bringing up its shoots
in each shifting season
or of a garden causing that which is sown in it to spring up long after we have forgotten what we had even planted in a particular patch is a powerful testimony to the faithfulness and the capacity of God to bring righteousness and praise to full bloom within our lives in the coming year.
Rather than resolving,
(or even succeeding),
perhaps the invitation of this new year
is to rest,
to receive what God would give God’s children.
May the Turner of our Nights and Days
give us hope in each beginning,
thankfulness in each ending,
and the peace of his presence
for each moment in between.