The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
New Year’s Eve – 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we stand on the far western shore of the Year of Our Lord, 2022.
It is well near evening. Our memories are silhouetted against the deep purple sky as they sail beyond the shimmering horizon. In 2022, we have lived, laughed, lost and loved in ways never to be repeated, yet never to be forgotten. The great turning of time goes relentlessly on, but we have written our story in its indelible trail. It’s an awesome realization.
John, when writing the first reading, seems to have felt some of tonight’s emotions:
Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the evil one is among us,
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
Slightly later on in the epistle, John finishes the thought:
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
With fireworks and reveling, popular culture will invite us to the brash celebration of our presence within this point in history. But, at the altar of our hearts, we recognize this long evening of reminiscence as a time of quiet thanksgiving and petition. It is a time of awe and trust. It is an evening when we balance “time” against the promise of “eternity”.
Like flint struck against the almighty soul of God, we have been given life. We are God’s fire at this moment in time’s long unwinding. Tonight, we turn our spirits to those beside us, behind us, before us and we pray in thanksgiving and hope for them.
Together, we sink into the Dark Infinity of our Creator who sustains all life beyond our worries, fears and limitations. With innumerable universes, God balances us in the Palm of Mercy. As the midnight shadows fall, God closes the fingertips of grace and protection over us.
In the split moment between two years, we too become infinite – fire in God’s darkness, spark redeemed beyond time.
In 2023, we will forget this transcendent moment. The bright light of daily living will blind us to that piece of divinity shining in our souls. But tonight, let us remember. As midnight passes by, may our spirits kneel within us to the Awesome Mystery who holds us, as one, eternally within Itself.
A truly blessed New Year to you and your beloveds, my friends.
Music: Be Still My Soul – Kari Jobe