Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reflection, Dec. 31, 2006

Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 31, 2006


As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

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Let this child teach us on New Year's Eve

"And Jesus went down with [his parents] and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and people."
Luke 2:51-52

It is New Year's Eve. For many this is a time for celebrating the New Year. Some will party, others attend retreats, church prayer vigils, and worship services while many will chose to stay home and avoid the drunk drivers. I usually enjoy this particular evening at home with friends and loved ones. It is an enjoyable way to reflect on the old year and anticipate the new with good food and friends.

This used to be a very painful evening for me. Many years ago, a very dear friend of mine was killed on New Year's Eve. He was my best friend and I had almost married him. His death was sudden and totally unexpected. He died doing what he loved when his parachute never opened. He crashed into the earth and never regained consciousness. I was paralyzed with grief, along with his many friends and family. As a result, I live in keen awareness of the frailty and preciousness of life. Each day is a gift. I frequently tell my beloved friends and family members that I love them. I often say, "God bless you." I try and live each day as if it might be my last, asking forgiveness when needed, making peace when possible and not letting the sun go down on my anger. Yes, I go dancing, clogging, at every opportunity.

My beloved grandmother taught me to honor the memories of dear departed ones by thanking the good Lord for all the good memories while living one day at a time. I treasure cherished memories of my deceased friend, Bob. As long as we remember, we honor the lives, lived with love, and they still live on within our hearts.

A bookmark of mine shows a little girl at life's crossroad. The road signs point in different directions. One sign points to "Your life." The other sign points to another path significantly named, "No longer an option." The old year is almost finished. This is a great time to reflect on your life and what is no longer an option. It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect inward, upward, and outward. What kind of year has it been for you? Do you have any treasured memories? What was good, bad, beautiful, and ugly? How have you grown? Where has God been present in your life? What are your resolutions, hopes, and dreams for the New Year?

For next year, consider letting the teachings of Jesus help you in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Jesus grew from a remarkable child into the greatest spiritual teacher our world has ever known. His words are full of wisdom, helpful for walking with God and our neighbors, one step at a time when one day feels overwhelming. The Gospels offer many wonderful words of life. Never underestimate their power to help you and those you love. Jesus will always be God's show and tell. Through the Gospel stories, we experience God's loving heartbeat.

Live as God's beloved people. Have a happy New Year. As we close the year, an old Gaelic blessing comes to mind, "And may the Lord hold you in the hollow of God's hand." God bless you.

God, accept our gratitude for this past year. Bless us in the New Year. Help us be loved all our days. Amen.

Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press

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