See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare...
Now that the Christmas celebration is behind us, we settle into the 12 days of Christmas and beyond. There is always a hint of sadness in these days as I bring up the boxes to repack the decorations and tree to be stored for another year. Everything in me wants to cry out, "Wait! Because of Christ, things aren't the same. All is new! Don't let the celebration end here!" Then I am comforted as I settle into the New Year, rejoicing in God's presence, which has always seen us through the changes of each day and year.
Way too many years ago, my mother wrote in my baby book that I was not good with change. Nothing about that has changed, and I suspect there are many of us who feel the same. Yet there is one thing that never changes: God's love and presence. Therefore, we can embrace and welcome the "new" in our lives. The celebration continues, just a bit differently. We celebrate Epiphany when the Christ child is revealed to the world as the Wise Men follow the star to Bethlehem. We celebrate the baptism of Jesus as He begins his ministry, and then in one month we begin the journey with Him to the passion of the Cross. Life goes on. Maybe not all will be the same as it was, but it is always steeped in the love of Christ.
Let us continue to walk through 2018 together, and, as Paul writes in I Thessalonians, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances." (5:16-18)