Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Day Year B (2015)

There are two possible sets of readings for January 1st, New Year's Day and Holy Name of Jesus (the day Jesus was circumcised and named.)

I decided to focus on New Year's Day.

I must agree that Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 is an excellent way to start something, even if it is a fairly arbitrary start date (as our New Year is.)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;
moreover, it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
Also in today's readings are some of my favorite verses Matthew 25:34-40. This is a theme that shows up other places as well, and is well worth remembering. It also strongly supports one of my most important reasons for being a Christian - following the example of Jesus and his earliest followers will make me a better person and the world a better place.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
Image Attribution:
Pebbles with Quarzite By Sean the Spook (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Stil Stapeln By Krethiplethi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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