Psalm 8:3-4; Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
We have awaited the arrival of a weary young woman, a strong donkey, and a patient father to the stable. We have anticipated the birth of the son through whom the world was created, born now, wrapped in strips of cloth, surrounded by livestock. And we have celebrated the joy to the world that is Emmanuel. With tree and lights and neighbors and family, some of us have spent a week set apart, a week of holy holidays. Even for those who work outside the home during the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the interim week has a different rhythm, time not fully within the normal everyday.
Now we anticipate the new year and a return to the real world. For most people, New Year’s Day marks the impending return to the regular work week. For many people in retail, New Year’s Day marks the impending return to a work week full of grouchy returns – a rather abrupt end to holiday cheer. What is January 2 that God is mindful of it? What have we gained from spending Advent in anticipation and Christmas in celebration? What is our toil that comes tomorrow that God cares for it? What gain have we for our Christmas sabbath from ordinary toil?
The scripture readings for today and tomorrow offer a particular hope. The same one whose fingers stitched together the fragments of the universe, setting moon and stars in the heavens, has also come to be mindful of us.
Lord, make me mindful of you – you, who are always mindful of me. I cannot know what you have done from the beginning to the end. But I can ask for the gift of knowing you are with me tomorrow. Amen.