“Happy New Year!” from the Rev, December 30, 2015

from the rev

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow it begins…the countdown that will take us from 2015 to 2016.  We have lived one full year or 12 months or 52 weeks or 365 days or 8,760 hours or 525,600minutes or 31,536,000 seconds.  We are one year older.  If you are young, you’ve grown an inch or two in height and maybe added a shoe size.  If you are on the older side of life, like me, you’ve gotten grayer or maybe slowed down a bit.  It’s an amazing trip, this journey of life.  The days can’t be stopped or frozen.  Time moves on and there’s no turning back the clock.

So how has this past year been for you?  It’s a good question to reflect on as we start the new year…taking a moment to look back.  Our inclination in these last days of the year is to make plans or resolutions about all we hope to do or be or accomplish in the next year.  But before we leave 2015 and start making plans for 2016, let me suggest a few things to consider:

What do you need to leave behind before you cross over into 2016?

What do you need to let go of?

What do you need to forget?

What do you need to forgive yourself or others for?

What mistakes that you made in 2015 finally need to be laid to rest?

What are you carrying that is too heavy for your heart or soul or mind?

Are you ready to let it all go?  Are you ready to clean out the clutter of this past year?

There are different ways people have of achieving this kind of ‘house cleaning’.   Christians name our sins, confess and repent, and then receive forgiveness from God.  For our Jewish brothers and sisters, Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the day they go to the temple and repent for sin, give it all up to God and find forgiveness.  Buddhists confess their faults to the Buddha in meditation.  Faithful Muslims pray five times daily and in this act bring their whole selves to Allah.  I have a friend who, on the last day of the year, makes a list of things he needs to let go of from the past year, and then throws it into his fireplace and watches it burn.

In all of these rites a weight is lifted.  A slate is wiped clean.  You get honest with yourself and your God and maybe even another human being. Most important you let it go and in letting it go you are now ready to start again in a new year.  So why not do some spiritual house cleaning over the next couple of days, discard those things that weigh you down, let them go and get on with this wonderful, challenging adventure called life.

I pray that your New Year will be filled with much joy, peace and good health!

You are loved,