Luke 2:39-40

Welcome to January 1, 2021! I love New Year’s Day because my brother was born on it. But for many, January 1 is fraught with expectations. Christmas decorations need to come down. Closets must be cleaned out and donation bags filled to make room for new purchases. There are football games to watch, black-eyed peas to cook, and resolutions to make (eek). This first day on the calendar screams, “Time to reset! There’s a new year ahead!”

Mary and Joseph have finished everything that was required of them by law. They’re heading home, back to life as usual. The celebration is over. Even now they are wondering, “Did all that wonderfulness really happen?” They’d love to pause and ponder, but there is packing to complete, a donkey to load, and a journey to begin. They’ve got a baby to raise. Their life looks more active than contemplative now.

How are you approaching this first day of the year? Are you looking ahead and making new plans? Are you saying “good riddance” to what was and hoping for another “do over” in 2021?

Before we move too far ahead, take another minute to ponder. Jesus was born. God came among us again, whispering the reminder that life is sacred and we are loved. Our worth, and the value of this world around us, has nothing to do with what we accomplish, and everything to do with who we are. We are beloved children of God. Rest in that truth, if only for one more moment.


If you made a “to-be” list instead of a “to-do” list this year, what would be on it?


God, I fill my days with so many tasks, believing I must earn the approval of everyone, including you. Remind me that I am loved for who I am, simply and completely. Amen.

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