At the New Year I celebrate with family and friends, yet I also take time to reflect on not just the events of the past year but also upon who I have been over those 12 months.
With my mum moving in with us over the summer, the second half of the year has not been without its challenges. I became very aware how selfish I was, only by first observing how selfish everyone else was.
As Jean Vanier demonstrates from his work in L’Arche, community first reveals how awful every other community member is when viewed at close quarters; only later in the journey will I work out that actually I am the more significant problem to establishing effective community. Maybe a lesson here for churches at the start of this year?
True holiness is revealed when I simply choose to acknowledge my own fracture and determine to get up and try again. It is the grace of God that has brought me this far. It is God who has accepted me, even before I offered to attempt to clean up my act in response to his love. God loves me, and you, immeasurably; that means we cannot measure it, ever.
Over Christmas I was surrounded by great-nephews and nieces. All small and intent on walking and playing, they fell down numerous times, sometimes shed a few tears, yet with a word of comfort they struggled back onto their feet to play. They fell but always got back up.
So wherever last year took us, however harshly we judge our performance, never give up. All that’s behind us. Hopefully we know more of ourselves, yet we need to carry into this New Year a fresh appreciation that we are loved beyond limits. No matter what our history, we’re invited to struggle to our feet once again and step, prodigal-like, into our Father’s arms.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings