For Christmas this year, I received a free calendar from a store I visited. It’s a wall calendar, intended to be hung up and written on with special occasions and holidays. Flipping through the months, I noticed that it is void of the typical days we mark such as major holidays or remembrances. Instead, each month has a few shall we say, sarcastic and silly dates marked. For example, the 16th of January is labeled as “End of New Year’s Resolutions.” Looking through the other pages made me wonder, how are we called to characterize or label a day? As church goers, we have the season and celebrations of the church year to add to our calendars--the big holidays, of course, but also the seasons of Lent, Advent, Pentecost, and our current season, Epiphany; the season of well-lit journeys and actively following the star through Jesus early days of ministry until the “big light” of the Transfiguration. While I am eager for these Holidays and the ways they give rhythm to our lives and church community, I am also excited for some of the other “dates” we will get to write in our 2021 calendars. For example, as we slowly mark dates when folks in our midst receive the vaccine, the day when we can gather safely outdoors for worship, the day we might have our mortgage paid off at church. And, of course, the day when we all feel safe singly loudly and joyfully inside together. “The days are surely coming, says the Lord….” Thus begins the words of the promise of God spoken to the prophet Jeremiah. When the Israelites were exiled and separated, Jeremiah spoke unbelievable promises to them…”the days are surely coming when I will make a new covenant…”
It is my belief that in these, some of the hardest and most difficult of the pandemic and in our country’s divisiveness, that I need to hear most clearly of the radical promises of God. I need to be reminded that when it all seems hopeless is when I most need to lean on God’s promises for us. Somedays I feel those promises when I catch a glimpse of someone on campus that I haven't seen in awhile, some days it’s getting to hear the voice of someone I haven’t spoken to in many months, most Sundays it is hearing the phenomenal gifts of our musicians who I know have recorded and re-recorded so carefully to produce a line of music that touches my heart and connects me to God.
This past week, I felt God’s promise as I was stepping outside during the early hours of a shift at Rotating Safe Car Park (RSCP), pausing to catch a glimpse of the sunrise, standing next to one of the other RSCP volunteers in holy silence. Friends, in these hard days, I hope you might step outside in the morning light or as the evening light comes and you stop work after a long strenuous day..I hope you might step outside and say to yourself…”The days are surely coming.” And I hope that in the speaking of those words that your faith might be boosted and your Spirits lifted for another day and night.
Until then, know that we are marking our days with the small glimpses of light and hope and are so grateful for all who bear the light and hope of Christ in these days.