We are here, not knowing if it is the beginning or the end.
We can be quite certain, however, that we are coming to the end of 2014 and that the beginning of 2015 will follow in three days.
But beyond that, beginnings and endings are confusing. Advent embraces the beginning of Jesus’ life; a beginning that we don’t want to end because we know what Jesus will go through; and yet, after the Crucifixion, comes a new, more permanent beginning, the Resurrection, a beginning that never ends.
Our church is continually experiencing beginnings and endings, births and deaths. This year in the Christmas Pageant the designated Baby Jesus was about four months old at the beginning of her life; following close behind appeared an undesignated, un-costumed one and a half year old angel who wandered up and down the aisle looking for Jesus or perhaps being Jesus. And the rest of us in the pews, young, middling, and beyond, were doing the same thing. We were try to follow Jesus, and we were trying to be like Jesus—something we often do, never certain which stance to take at a given moment, and most of the time failing miserably.
Yesterday in this sanctuary we experienced another ending and beginning. We said goodbye a dear friend and member of our church. It was the end of her 96 year-long earthy life, but the beginning of her eternal life with God.
As we start the beginning of a new year, dear God, help us to live with the ambiguities of our own particular endings and beginnings; help us to wander up and down the aisles of life trying to following Jesus, trying to be like Him.