The consumer-culture-hallmark-moment-next-cyle-in-the-market world of which you and I are a part moves rapidly from one event to the next. That includes any birth of a Prince of Peace in a backwater town like Bethlehem or Nazareth. But if you are wise, you will resist the inclination to move too fast from the epiphany of the Christ child to a pagan celebration of a “new year.” By new, I assume it is meant another journey ’round the sun is beginning in a few days. Get ready. Put your seat belt on. The earth moves beneath our feet and yet, the new year will look amazing like the old year within a matter of hours. If I could afford it, I’d rent a blimp over Times Square with a neon sign that would blink the words from Ecclesiastes 1:9
THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
Depressing, eh? Party pooper, jaded religious nut… Interesting how the self-described nihilists find New Year’s something to celebrate and in turn accuse those who find nothing new in the recycling of the recycled as somehow negative. Rich irony there. There are wars and rumors of wars without end. Your country is preparing for these even as the lighted ball descends. The current congress locked in absolute partisan gridlock, fueled by ideologies that would make a Maoist blush, is prepared for more of the same. By the way, how are you treating the least among you? the hungry? the naked? the imprisoned? the elderly? the orphan? the widow? the poor? the different? You live in a nation that prefers to spend money on weapons than on the weak and the ill. Happy old year. It is sotted and wrecked before the ball falls and the new numbers are lit up. 2014. A digit’s difference and a dime’s worth of difference.
Here is a paradox for you: by spending time on the ancient truths resident within Holy Scripture; by pondering the mystery of God-in-Christ; by assembling together in worship within the lighted sanctuary of God’s peace; we will be made new. The bible is not completely oblivious to the new. Isaiah preached, “Behold, I will do something new…” [43:19]. Jesus proclaims, “Behold, I make all things new” [Rev. 21:5]. May the Grace of God revealed in the Holy Child, the Prince of Peace, even Jesus the Christ, renew you and transform you in this year and the next and forevermore. The world awaits persons who are truly dedicated to repairing the world, not ruining it. Ready. Set. Let’s go. Into another year of months, armed with the Love of God.