Categories: Wednesday ripples Tags: , , , 1 Comment

Still January

Still January — named after that two-faced Roman god, Janus, who simultaneously looks at the past and future, trying to make sense of what comes next.  Still January — filled with post-Christmas recovery and with re-entries, both exciting and stressful, resolutions slip-sliding, with perhaps a few good intentions still holding.  Still January, where the Biblical readings reflect a sense of possibility, of change, of something new happening… the wise men following a star of hope; Jesus launching into his ministry at the moment of his baptism; the call of the disciples; water changed into wine.  Which is to say, the invitation to enter into transformation is not just seasonal, but at the very heart of our faith.  

God declares, “Behold! I make all things new!” – a promise (and sometimes perhaps a threat) to each one of us… and to the world.  In the very ordinary events of our lives, God offers, moment by moment, new possibilities that move in the direction of more love, more beauty, more harmony, more justice.  And then God waits for our response… hoping for our “Yes!” which opens up channels through which the Spirit surges … and who knows what will happen then.

Still January — and on my desk, a favourite poem – “I am running into a new year” by Lucille Clifton:

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even forty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

Saturday, January 21st, 2017. 10am – 12pm Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver. (click on image for detailed information)

“Will you follow me?” is one of the questions that Jesus asks over and over; it’s the question at the heart of the Scripture reading for this coming Sunday; it’s a question that keeps showing up in our own lives.  For instance, this Saturday, Jan. 21 there is a Protest March (10 to 12, starting and ending at the Jack Poole Plaza, 1085 Canada Place) that is happening on the day when Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the U.S.A.  It is being organized by women and men who wish to say “NO!” to the values and behaviours that Trump espouses and embodies – misogyny, racism, and sexism; divisiveness and bullying… and the list goes on.  

As Canadians, it may not be our call to protest against Trump per se, but it certainly we are called to say no to attitudes and behaviours that contradict the basic tenets of Christianity.  I am coming to believe that we are in a time when the gospel is calling us to take an active stand for a way of being that includes all people, all creatures, the earth; those who are suffering – the poor, the refugee, the marginalized, the ones who are “different”;  called to speak up for the way of love and compassion.  I wonder if Saturday’s March is one of those “call moments.”  I confess that I have not attended “protest marches” for many years now; but I think the times are changing; maybe I’ll see you there.

So… are we willing to run into a new year, a new way of living, of following, of faithfulness?  And what might we need to let go of, leave behind?   Because it’s still January… and there’s still time to go running into the new year.

– Gary

One Comment

  1. Hi Gary, Thanks for the plug for the March for Women on Saturday. The organisers have been pretty clear that it isn’t against something, rather it is for women’s rights in all their forms. Men are welcome too. The organisers ask that you pre-register so they have enough portapotties etc.

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