January Newsletter

January Newsletter

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
And the children got ready for school...

The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God's Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

       --from “For the Time Being,” W. H. Auden, poet


For all the build-up that Christmas has, during the weeks of Advent, there is no easy let-down time.  It is just suddenly over, and life is to pick up where it left off immediately.  That sentiment is reflected in these lines from Auden’s poem, where he comments on the Christmas season will soon give way to Lent and what will happen during that time. 

I wish I had been able to take pictures of all the hands that I saw during worship on December 29.  We had a time of anointing and dedicating our hands to works of mercy and justice for 2014, when people came forward and I anointed their hands with olive oil, saying, “You are blessed to be a blessing.  Use these hands to do God’s sacred work in our world.” 

I saw so many different kinds of hands: young, old, wrinkled, smooth, calloused, ringed, freckled, bony, supple.  All kinds of hands taking their owners into 2014, not knowing what will happen, but moving in the knowledge that God moves forward with them.

May you also move through 2014 with that assurance.



Rev. Linda M. Willey