Lectionary Reflection: The First Sunday after Christmas

By Carol James

Friday, December 29

Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Galatians 3:23-25, 4:4-7; John 1:1-18

It’s an odd time of year to be looking for hope and new beginnings. A little bedraggled from the stresses of the festive season, we stumble across the threshold of a new year, resolving to do better in so many ways. Are we wise to make this the moment for reflection and self-improvement? Sure, the hinge of the solstice has turned and days are lengthening again … but not by much. I don’t think I’m the only one whose energy is at lowest ebb this week.

And yet here are Isaiah, Paul and John crying with one voice: We are beloved. We are God’s family. We are destined to rejoicing and salvation as surely as grass grows and flame warms. However persistent is the darkness within and without, we are promised that light can never truly be conquered. The wheel of the year, running its ancient cycles of birth and growth, decay and dissolution, always pushes on toward life and light, regardless of the obstacles it encounters.

As beloved heirs of God, we’re called to keep pushing back at encroaching darkness and to nourish the light as we find it. How are you resolved to take up your inheritance as a caretaker of hope?

Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.

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