Calvary Episcopal Church

Memphis, Tennessee

The First Sunday After Christmas Day
December 31, 2000
Volume 45, No.47

Reflections on a New Year
It's my turn to write now, for this, the last Chronicle of the year 2000. Hard to believe, isn't it, that the first year of the feared and anticipated new millennium is drawing to a close, and that we're about to enter now its second year.

I've never been much of one to celebrate such an occasion with bells or cymbals or staying up into the wee morning hours. Rather, I tend to get reflective and prayerful, and become keenly aware of things as they are and things as they might yet become.

For example, I find myself asking, "What will the world be like when our children have become the adult generation, with children or even grandchildren of their own? What will the values of society be then? Will there still be such big pockets of poverty? Will justice yet be established throughout the lands? Will there be respect among the peoples of this city, this country, this world? Will the environment be healthy? Will it be protected? What will the temperature of the earth be, or the condition of its natural resources? Will a good education be available for all? Will people honor it and take full advantage of all it offers? Will there be peace?"

Somehow, as I ask myself these questions, I can imagine God gathering us all together, much as a mother would gather her children round her to comfort them or teach them. And then this mother God teaches us, even pleads with us, to be good stewards of the world and of the life entrusted to us to care for.

And I realize that the years, the centuries, even the millennia pass so quickly, and that you and I can - and do - make a difference. Why, we can change what happens on a particular day, or we can affect one person's life, or bring a new insight to the world or even alter the course of history itself!

So as each of us turns to step into the new year, let's keep these things in mind: that we are living instruments in the hands of God, who is working in and through each one of us to establish peace and justice on the earth; that God is always reaching out to us, to grasp our hand, outstretched and reaching in turn for God; that God's love for us and hope for humanity will not be discouraged, for God often has more faith in us than we have in ourselves.

I suppose all of this is enough for bells and cymbals! But somehow, I'd rather just ponder it and talk it over with you and see if together we can't begin to do some things like ... change the world, and help to establish peace, and make the love of God known and experienced by all people everywhere, beginning now - in this new year of 2001.
~ Peggy Gunness


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