New Beginnings

Change, new beginnings are rarely easy, are they? Every Christmas we hear the story of Jesus born in bad conditions with his Mom and Dad by his crib, surrounded by animals, shepherds and a multitude of angels. Then there’s that incredible star that is reported to have been seen by Wise men or Kings that led them to the newborn king. The account is an indelible part of our tradition and reenacting it is a beloved ritual in the most wonderful sense. We love the Christmas story and we celebrate it with enthusiasm. But then each year right after the celebration, we are catapulted into the reality of a brand-new year to take a hold of. It can be an exhausting way to end and begin again but it is the way we do it, so it is a good idea to have a strategy which will be introduced to you in a few minutes!

Fast forward to the Gospel of Luke read today whereby “Simeon saw in Jesus, God's salvation prepared for all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to God's people Israel. And declared so for all to hear. So too the prophet Anna began to speak about the Christ child who would be the redemption of Jerusalem and to praise God for his arrival.” People of that time had been looking forward to change, a new and better day and this child Jesus was anointed to bring us just that. It seems to me we are still looking for that better day. Would you agree?

How do we see this event? It is tempting to think, as some theologians suggest, that the Prophets were brilliantly foretelling the coming of Jesus. However, leaving it solely at that, we inadvertently take the scriptures out of the understanding of the ancients for whom it was intended and co-op it for our own theological purposes. It become