The new year is here! And… well… it kind’a feels like the old year.

The news stories feel like they’re on a loop – Covid numbers, wonky politics, variable weather; repeat. The kids just got back to school, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm – school is not really a place to connect with friends right now; which helps make the schoolwork and homework bearable. Our routines feel more like they did at the beginning of the pandemic rather than a year later. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” – where the sameness of the days seem to be endless.

I didn’t expect to wake up on January 1st to a huge transformation, so there was no disappointment. And, as much as it feels as if nothing has changed, a lot has.

There are vaccines being rolled out and there are high hopes for success. This alone bring a lot of Hope. Just at the edges of the horizon, we can see the spectacle recent politics have been winding down. We all be grateful for the Peace that is coming. We can’t be with our families and friends in ways that feel natural and which don’t require us to think and plan; but we’ve gotten creative in ways to stay connected. We’re bringing the Love any way we can! The Solstice has passed and the days are lengthening. Our fears about struggling through and managing a long winter during Covid get shorter every day. That is cause for Joy.

It seems as if the Advent themes are alive and well post Advent season. Like the poem from Sunday’s Epiphany service said, the work of Christmas is beginning. We’ve got this! We walk forward into 2021 to tend to each other, our neighbors, and our world guided by Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. I’m glad to be walking the path with you.

Happy New Year!

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