“Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.” Psalm 74:16
“Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.” Romans 13:12-13
At this is a time of year we think about change. It is a time of ending … and beginning. Once steadily waning daylight has reversed course and the sky is evolving into light.
As 2021 ends and 2022 begins many people will resolve to end certain bad behaviors and begin new lifestyles. Body image is popular. I will stop eating unhealthy food and begin a balanced diet. I will stop spending hours in front of the television and begin a routine at the gym (a quite popular resolution … for a month or so). Yes, these are worthwhile endeavors.
Lifestyle and well-being are also emotional, social, spiritual. Today’s verses tell us to change our behaviors from dark to light. I’m too tired anymore for reveling, debauchery and licentiousness. But quarreling and jealousy are not so easy to put aside. Can I resolve to end my selfishness and indifference? Can I resolve to open my eyes to see others’ needs, try to understand their troubles, and be generous? Can I resolve to end my mistrust and judgmental attitude, to be gracious and merciful, and treat others with kindness and hospitality? Might I resolve to spend more time with Scripture?
We have a few more days for last flings – finishing off the cookies, a couple parties and toasts, sleeping in before buckling down on Jan 1. But deciding to wait another week to be kind, more patient and caring, sounds a little silly. It’s never too late to change … never too early start over. Might I resolve, today, to begin anew?
Peter Marshall died the year I was born but he wrote one of my favorite Christmas quotes. And it is for all time: “Wilt Thou help each one of us to keep Christmas alive in our hearts and in our homes, that it may continue to glow, to shed its warmth, to speak its message during the bleak days of winter… May we hold to that spirit, that we may be as gentle and as kindly today as we were on Christmas Eve, as generous tomorrow as we were on Christmas Morning”. Amen