By Claire Chinn, Minister of Children & Mission


Are you glad it is a new year? Are you glad the Christmas decorations are stored and the last piece of glitter has been swept away? (But let’s be honest–there is no way you are getting rid of all the Christmas glitter!) Are you glad that the busyness of December has faded and you have great memories of spending time with family and friends?


Now don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love the Christmas season. I love the festiveness, the celebration, the busyness. But, I am also happy when the Christmas decorations go back in the box and we get everything cleaned up. It means one thing: it means a fresh house, a fresh calendar, a fresh refrigerator. It means we are allowed to begin again.


We are allowed to begin again–we are allowed to hear and let the story of Christ’s birth grasp hold of us and give us hope. There is that pesky little word–hope. Hope is a powerful word that can at times calm our nerves and give us peace. Sometimes that word hope can mean so much more. It can be the word that gives us the catalyst to do something different. It can be the charge we need to do something better. It can be the very thing that moves us to action for a better world.


And maybe that is why I am always hopeful at the beginning of the new year…because Christmas has been a great reminder that we still have work to do. We still have a chance to plant the seed of a hopeful world wherever we go. Hope is what propels us to the next step when we don’t know if we can take the next step.


Maybe this is why we are happy when the last Christmas box has been put up–it is hope in action. It is the moment when we feel like we can begin again. Maybe this is why we are happy when our schedules have calmed after a flurry of Christmas activity–it breathes hope into our lives. It is that moment when we recognize that the birth of new life is here and we get the chance to begin again–to be people searching for a way to be closer to God.


The next time you sweep up the remnants of that pesky Christmas glitter, may that remind you that through the birth of our Savior we get to begin again; we are afforded the chance to be people that live into hope enacted. And what a gift that is.