January 1st. A day for making resolutions. This morning I got up, had a shower, shaved, brushed & flossed my teeth, and clipped my nails. It seems like the day to start things clean and well.
And, of course, I have some New Years resolutions. In no particular order, mine are:
To lose weight
To get fitter
To be more disciplined at my prayers
To write more.
And they've been the same for about the last 5 years (and probably longer). They remain my intentions no matter how hard I try each January.
The start of the new year seems like a day that offers the chance of a new start. That's why we make those dreaded resolutions. But it is not a particularly significant day in the Christian calendar. The start of the Christian year is Advent Sunday. The major winter festival is Christmas, a week ago now. Today in the church's calendar is the Circumcision of Christ. Not a major feast, and one which I can't help feeling was invented to support a rather dubious relic in the Middle Ages.
But looking back at my resolutions, I notice they are all about who I am and who I would like to be. That makes them rich material for considering how they help me become who God made and calls me to be. That is to say that they are about vocation. My resolutions, once I cut through the vanity that is their surface, are all about who I am. Can I hear the call of God through them? Can they point me towards who I am called to be? That would be a good piece of work for 2015.
And here the feast of the circumcision fits in well. There is a cost to vocation. Jesus' circumcision points to the cost he will pay later in his life. There is a cost to my resolutions (largely in chocolate, time, and energy), but this points to the deeper cost of my vocation. Heading into the new year thinking on that seems a good way to continue something begun long ago, but which is also fresh each day.
Happy New Year!