The time after Christmas has begun to feel strange to me recently. In this new life I find myself in, there’s not much of a break. The church doesn’t exactly “take off” for the week. Life still goes on. People still have questions, still have concerns, still end up in the hospital, still have life happen to them. And yet, I know that this is all “good.” This work that we do, this call that we’ve answered, is a phenomenal gift. It’s a privilege and an honor to be with people through their highest highs and deepest lows. And I do well to remind myself that each morning that I get up is brand new. The day is spread out in front of me, in front of us, just waiting for us to dive into. Every new day is an opportunity to walk through the world we share together, and leave it just a little better than we found it. To leave an indelible mark on the world, and it leaves an indelible mark on us.
Walter Brueggemann has a wonderful prayer about this newness:
A Habitat of Newness and Goodness
Through this day we have named your name in gladness,
we have pondered the world you have
we have relished your gift and your task,
and we have marveled in amazement,
yet one more time,
at the wonder of this Easter Jesus,
who has died and is alive among us.
Now we are homeward;
And when we arrive there,
It will be as it was this morning,
with anxiety and demand and conflict
Except that all things will be—
yet again—made new.
Make new by your spirit; make new the church where we live;
make new the public reality of justice among us;
make new the practice of compassion in our
make new the surge of peace in our violent
make new the policies of our government
and the workings of the church.
Make new, and we will be in Easter joy
unafraid and unweary,
your glad people,
carrying among us the marks of the death
and the new life of Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen.