Happy New Year! After a good “reflection” on the meaning of Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago and into the world (through us) today, we will find ourselves cleaning up the final scraps of wrapping paper, taking down the lights and decorations, and getting back to our daily and weekly routine.
The days will finally be getting longer and the hope of new growth in Spring is getting closer. But the coldest days of January and February still loom. It’s a great metaphor that ties in to what we have been and will be talking about.
After a willful invitation for Jesus to be born again in us, we must recognize that if the presence of God is going to grow in our hearts and minds some things are going to have to change. Otherwise, we’re walking around eternally pregnant with hope but never realizing it. The apostle Paul wrapped up our year with the segue “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. . .” (Romans 12: 2).
In this New Year we will be continuing the renewal of our minds and baby proofing our hearts with the words of Jesus in Matthew. As we enter the coldest part of the year, we also enter some of the harshest words of Jesus. Woes and laments, the end of the world, the thief in the night, the final judgment, and finally the crucifixion.
But just because it’s going to get cold and uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. After all, the colder the freeze, the fewer mosquitoes there are in the summer! Jesus’ words may be uncomfortable and might even seem cold. But in our search for transformative wisdom and truth we cannot skip over any words Jesus speaks just like we cannot bypass the cold fronts of our short winter.
I pray you join us in the walls where the church gathers and allow yourself to be a part of it. I pray you join us despite the cold, and find a warmth in it as we unpack the harshest words of Jesus and find the hope and love in them.
See you at the watering hole.
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.