Keeping Christmas, day eight

It is day one all over again.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)

It is the beginning. The beginning of looking back at the good of the last three hundred or so days, and the beginning of looking forward of the good yet to come. The beginning of mourning the passing of the past year's joys that we wished would never end, and the beginning of rejoicing over the passing of the past year's griefs that we thought would never end.

New Year's Day is stuck in the middle of Christmas Day, when the light of Christ dawned over the dark of Advent, and Epiphany, when we celebrate not only the arrival of the Magi, but also the light of the star that was too irresistible not to follow. Genesis and John remind us that at this beginning of the year, like so many other beginnings, we are bathed in light and life. Blessings to you at the close of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. May this year be one of light and life!

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