Anniversaries. We have all been asked that question, after turning another year older, “so, do you feel any different?” The answer to that often depends on the disposition of the person in the moment, but it is easy to say no. The day after I turned 49 this year did not feel all that particularly different than the prior day, when I was 48.
In the same way, the first day of 2021 will not be that different from the last day of 2020. Things will not have changed much in Lawrence, or Kansas, or the world.
But anniversaries, the observance of some event one or more years from another event, do have power, on a spiritual level. When I lived and worked at Holy Cross Church in Pine Ridge Village, every Sunday we served lunch to the congregation following the service. The meal was paid for by some family in the congregation in observation of some kind of anniversary: a birth, a marriage, a death, etc. This observance in our own community frequently takes the form of donations of altar flowers. On a spiritual level, remembering an anniversary gives us the chance to reflect upon the life events of our past and the way in which God was present. Looking forward from that anniversary, we ask for and anticipate what God will do in the future.
So, in that way the observance of a new year, either on November 29 with the first Sunday in Advent or on January 1, we can take a moment to reflect, to give thanks, and to put the past behind us as we envision the future.
Yours in Christ,