by Ken Rolheiser
Awake to a Happy New Year in 2017

One of my favourite New Year lines is “A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other”. Sage advice about Resolutions: “My resolution is to rediscover the difference between wants and needs; may I have all I need and want all I have.” (Internet Source)

And for those who have trouble keeping New Year’s resolutions, “Remember you can reset your resolutions on January 14th (Orthodox New Year) and January 28 (Chinese New Year) [Internet Source].

Another good quip I came across on line is: Every year I make a resolution to change myself... this year I am making a resolution to be myself!

If I had to try to say something profound that would change our lives for the better this coming year I would start with prayerful silence. Trees change in the silence of the seasons. Rest is involved. And it is wordless.

Recently I read somewhere about sleep being a prayer. What a wonderful concept. “Silence calls us out of our minds and guides us to our hearts… Silence permits the Holy Spirit greater room to transform us” (from Word Made Flesh – Daily Reflections for Advent 2016).

Now after we practise letting the Spirit renew us when we sleep, what is it that we need to do while we are awake in 2017? Let’s start with the resolution hinted at above: this year I am making a resolution to be myself!

Let us start with the premise that Jesus came as a Saviour and not as a Judge. That means he came to heal us, not to convict us. That being said, let us look at our lives. If people already recognize that we are Christian, we are off to a great start. We really need to be ourselves as Christians.

If people see compassion and mercy in us already, then we are set to do great things in the New Year. Advent was the time when people were open to angels, heaven, and Jesus. All we need to do now is continue to be a witness to the Love Jesus came to bring.

At Bethlehem the Angels proclaimed “Joy to the world”. Our job as Christians is to live that joy and to pass it on to the world.

Joy and laughter begin with Hope. For centuries before the coming of Christ prophets proclaimed the hope of the Saviour’s coming. That hope was fulfilled by the Angels proclamation on Christmas night: Joy to the World, the Saviour Reigns.

With that heavenly song, which came literally from Angels in heaven, the earth was filled with joy. The Kingdom of God has come. Our world is changing. As Christians we need to wear shades; the future is bright!

Joy is happiness over a present good which perhaps was beyond what we anticipated, like spiritual happiness over our salvation and the bliss of the afterlife.

“The word that God has written in the brow of every person is hope.” Victor Hugo

May your year be filled with joy and laughter, and may your true self reign as you witness love and compassion to others. “Jesus is the Messiah who has come to heal and forgive and save.” (from The Word Among Us Daily Meditations For Advent 2016)

(551 words)