By Rebecca Hall
I love New Year’s Resolutions. I know January 1st is not part of our liturgical calendar, and the church does not officially mark this time. Yet, there is something so very theological about new beginnings – they have the potential to be transformative. This blog space is for noting how and when our community experiences transformation. Since this is the first post of the New Year, I thought I’d mix things up and just talk about transformation itself. How does it happen? Is it just random chance? Do we have to be in the right place at the right time? Certainly, there is an element of mystery to transformation. We are not God, and will never fully understand God’s ways. But, we also play a part; often there is an element of intentionality that we bring to the table. As I read back over some of the Stories of Transformation, I see intentionality everywhere. There was the young woman who faithfully attended Young Adult activities each week. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer she found herself surrounded by love and support that got her through that difficult time. In another story, a mother and daughter visited Bethell Hall each morning before Day School, and once experienced a magical moment with a homeless neighbor who is an amazing pianist. Another story was about the people who have been leading the Daily Office for decades with only a few attendees at a time, but their faithful practice meant that on the evening of 9-11 they were prepared to pray with a chapel full of people needing comfort and solace.
We see intentionality in these stories; we see practice; we see life-giving habits. Our practices form us, and give God the opportunity to enter our lives and transform. New Year’s is a time when we examine our practices, our habits. We ask ourselves, “Is the way I live working for me? Or is there something for which I need to make room?” If you sense your life could use a little “practice,” I invite you to experience Blue Saga for Intentional Living. This is a time once a month for reflecting on how we live our lives. You may have been to a gathering or two and learned how to write a Rule of Life. In January, Blue Saga will expand its mission. Each month there will be a class or presentation on a different idea or practice that will help center us and become more closely aligned with God.
My prayer for each of us this New Year is that our resolutions and habits bring us true life, like the Collect for this Sunday also prays: O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we many share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.