It’s Only a Calendar Page -- From Rev. Pat Kriss
(Posted December 29, 2017)
“For last year's words belong to last year's language -And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." – T.S. Eliot
“I’m really happy to see this year go,” said one of our church family members to me recently. I can’t say that I blame him. The year 2017 was one of anxiety, of violence and hatred, of political uncertainty, and of the specter of nuclear war. It’s been the year of the apparent granting to some people of the license to unleash their beasts of racism, homophobia, sexual assault and sexism to romp around in the light of day. It isn’t that those beasts never existed before 2017; they most certainly did. But “polite society” had dictated for years that the beasts be kept out of sight and public discourse before this. That wasn’t necessarily a good thing, either. You can’t fix what you refuse to acknowledge.
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But on Sunday, December 31, at midnight, we turn the page on the calendar. A whole fresh new year to set things right. Or not. It’s only a calendar page, a piece of paper in the human contrivance of time keeping. There really isn’t a cosmic difference between yesterday and tomorrow. But because a new year allows us to focus on the things we’d like to do differently, it can have deep significance.
This Sunday we will gather at the end of services for our own First Church version of a bonfire, out on the front steps. We will consign to the flames paper bearing the words of things, personal and global, that we wish to erase from life in the coming year. And each of us will receive a special card with positive instructions to guide us for the New Year. We will as a congregation and as individuals pray to God to give us the strength to sculpt a better life out of the first wisps of 2018. Please join us, for there is surely strength in numbers when it comes to “storming heaven” for a better year ahead. –Pastor Pat Kriss