2020 was tough. There were blessings, yes, but they tended to be difficulties that turned into learning opportunities. Death surrounded us, on the news and in our home towns. Political unrest and a lot of anger – some righteous, some not – was on full display. The flaws in our imperfect governing institutions and the limitations of those working within them had tangible and almost immediate attention and effect. 2021 might be here, but 2020 lingers in our pandemic-caused isolation and the mounting death toll across the country. There is no quick (re)solution and we remain in an alternate social reality still.
What about 2021? It’s starting with loss, but also hope for a healthier national reality. The patience required to stay vigilant until vaccines are universally available just might translate into a willingness to look for long-term, more permanent strides toward racial and gender equality. Grief at the loss of so many loved ones may turn into an abiding compassion for the suffering of all people – those close by and those flung far across the globe.
Perhaps spending so much time at home will move us to get our houses in order – to let go of what doesn’t matter and to love what does. Such an endeavor isn’t exactly a typical New Year’s resolution, but it seems like a good way to enter this new year.
May God’s peace abide with you in all circumstances, and may you be God’s peace for others. Amen.