Religion column – New and renew

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2018

Here we are, in the depths of the darkest time of the calendarial season, yet we find ourselves in the brightest of celestial lights. At least this is what we are supposed to believe and honor.

Now is also the time we are beginning to recover from all of the merriment of Christmas. Indeed, our internals have been subjected to an overload of tryptophan; that insidious chemical which underlies that most needed necessity for a quick snooze in the recliner. Yet, this is the swing week. It is the time just before the beginning of the new year; as if we needed another gorging, or beverage. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

If we listen closely, we may hear the collective groans from the many who have had a bit of enough of all this excess and seek a return to the more regular routine. With thicker waistlines and thinner wallets, the ability to weather the storm of revelry has begun to wear a bit thin. Certainly, we need a bit of a breather, before Mardi Gras kicks in.

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As part of the adjustment, is the impending grayness of the routine. Soon gone are the smells, lights, and traditions, along with the now aging varnish of the once breathlessly sought gifts and treats. The truth of life begins to creep back into our circumstances and, to an even greater extent creeps back into our inner ourselves. Sure, we may fight our inclinations with a “resolution,” which we, soon after mid-January, re-consider and return to the shelf for next year.

This presents the Great Challenge, for all of us, to carry the Christmas message forward; not only in our personal lives, but also in our interactions with others, and with God. We may feel moved to be resolved to change our outlook and actions in the new year, yet why do so many of us fall short? Why is it we have the best of intentions, but the intent to be committed is so lacking.

An easy answer, and one which gives us a bit of an out is, “well, we were just made this way.” And, it all, sort of, makes sense. If Adam and Eve fell from grace, them we too are sinners and there is no escaping, so it’s God’s fault.” What gets lost in the shuffle is the birth of Christ, and our responsibility with Him, which gives each of us the potential for a real out…of this sinful world.

These recent days, as all of our days with Him, are meant for our learning. Up until Jesus became man on this Earth, there was no hope for salvation and the message of forever was vague, at best. At His birth, the beginnings of the eternal promise were accomplished, and concluded with His sacrifice for us. It was the time of the new and the renew-al.

However, we get so distracted by the tinsel and holly of the secular celebrations. Now, New Year’s galas overshadow the solemnity of the greatest present any of us may receive. In our haste to return to our perception of normalcy, we may ignore the year-long calling of our Creator and His sacrifice for us. It is a calling for the new day and our own renew-al 

Let us keep the birth of our Savior alive in our hearts, each day. Let His words grow and prosper within each of us, as a message to all humankind, and to do His will in everything that we do.