Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 - the welcome visitor?

Happy New Year.  2016 - infamous for apparent consumption of celebrities, has been replaced by 2017.  This 'new' year does not yet roll comfortably off the tongue. It is the name of a new acquaintance - whose existence I have been aware of, but until now no direct interaction has been required. At the stroke of midnight, the new year burst into the room.  I cannot accuse 2017 of gatecrashing, for we held a small gathering in its honour. The arrival was anticipated, expected and certain, heralded with great celebrations.   Unlike Christmas, where mentions of the person whose birth is being celebrated, are tolerated by an increasingly secular society, but only if it stays in the category of 'cute'.  Most have no real desire to consider why Christ was born, and to mention his bloody and undeserved death at a time of celebration, would be considered unnecessary and irrelevant.

We embrace 2017 like a four leaved clover -  a talisman to give token protection against the death of our heroes and loved ones. The clock struck twelve, bad luck will change...  It is not bad luck, it is life in a fallen world. We are born, we live, we die. Our names are remembered for a few generations, unless we do something spectacularly good or bad... In time our very existance will cease to be remembered. Even our digital footprint will, in time, be deleted, eaten away, byte by byte, as space for storage, unlike God's mercy, is finite.

Today has been subdued, as our bodies try to compensate for the change in sleeping pattern as we celebrated the completion of one year, and the beginning of the next, and recover from the effects of food eaten long after we should have been asleep.

In the days ahead many of us will return to school or work, and after a few hiccups, 2017 will feel as familiar as its predecessor.  I would love 2017 to be a year of peace, of wise and fair use of resources, and for the world to make a concerted, united effort to begin to redress the damage we have inflicted on our planet, for the sake of future generations.  As C.S. Lewis says "You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream".  My prayer for 2017 is that we move from goals and dreams to action.  But how?