On Wednesday we begin not only a new year, but a new decade. Spiritual gurus and pundits encourage us to start fresh, with a clean slate and whatever it takes to make the new year/new decade all it can be.
It’s almost as though we are invited to forget the past with its quirks, victories and defeats. But Leonard Cohen, in his “Anthem” sets a realistic tone:
“Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in. “
Yesterday’s issues may or may not be resolved. All may not be right with the world.
The unmanageable is still with us, but we do what we can. Suffering in the world will not cease in a snap. Exclusivity and financial power will still claim the attention of all who think that’s the way to savor the world.
But people of faith have another take on the new year. We believe that the light does come in through the cracks. Through them, we can stare down the hardness of society and the world at large.
We can depend on the light coming through the cracks to see into the gloom and unexpectedly find beauty. We depend on the light to see what needs to be fixed, and restored to its former dignity – to cultivate compassion, peace and sustainability.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a kind of peace in the world. The peace of the Roman Empire. But all the conquered peoples knew that Roman peace did not bring them life in abundance. That would be the gift of Jesus, who through his words and healing. Jesus brought believers into kinship with God and one another.
What Jesus did then He does now in our world, in every place and every year. 2020 will be no exception.
But we need to remind one another of His presence and love. We do this is families of faith, our own families and the families we choose to create.
So at the beginning of this new year and decade, fear not. Know with certainty that our loving God is with us as we tend, mend, send, bend, blend, and befriend. Nothing is predictable, except the presence of this God of ours.
~Sister Joan Sobala