Endings flow into beginnings as we walk this path of life. At this time of year, we arbitrarily decide a year is about to end and a new one to commence. We choose to mark time in this way.
As best we can, we mull over the lessons of the year, what was learned and what still needs some work. We lay it down, give ourselves and others a clean slate, take a deep breath and put our feet upon the path of 2017. This may require some forgiveness work, maybe some repentance, maybe some restitution or some other action we need to take. It is a potentially healthy time of year, when we take these steps honestly with clear intention.
Of course, there are some "bad actors" that come into our lives who may need to be released. Not everyone needs to be actively in our lives. But in the release, we can bless them and turn them over to God, with absolutely no rancor. Rancor only hurts the person holding it in their heart.
In thinking about beginnings, I am also preparing a sermon for New Year's Day partially based on the creation stories in Genesis. In the context of beliefs in the area at the time, there are a lot of new ideas. For example, God created Light, the sun and moon, so the various lights were not gods as was thought to be true by other groups. God created them. The power to recreate was placed in the seed, so fertility gods were fired. All of creation was called "good," so the original sin idea of some groups is negated - original sin came into the world via Augustine of Hippo and not from the Bible. There is no idea of God creating the darkness and ugliness. God created, and it was and is good. Come on New Year's Day, and I'll go into detail (Temecula United Methodist Church).
The ideas which we hold as so familiar were huge paradigm shifts back in the day - and I might add for many people today who are stuck in superstition and far from scholarship.
So - all/you/me = created by God, and = good. What is needed is contained within creation. You, me, all of us are children of Divinity. It is our nature to be like our Creator. When we behave in a way less than our true potential, there is already within us the knowing of what the right path is for us.
Let's prepare ourselves to wrap up 2016 with honest reflection. And let's step onto the 2017 path with fresh eyes and heart and see how spiritually awake we can be. This year could the THE year to remember in our lives. Let's go for it!
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