It’s startling how quickly attention moves from celebrating Christmas to reviewing the year past to celebrating the new year. The combination of Christmas and New Year’s makes for a blur of retrospection and anticipation, which, together, inspire us toward renewal.
Nate Wright, one of the Santahatchie worship leaders and something of a chaplain for the week, selected Genesis 2:5-15 as the scripture lesson for The Well. Unlike the grand, sweeping poetry of God’s work during the 7 days of Creation in Genesis 1, the second telling is more intimate. God doesn’t simply divide water from land, but creates rivers with names: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. God creates humankind in God’s image, but not in an assembly line fashion. God gets close to his creation, breathing life into them. Reading this passage you sense the newness of creation and the care God took to bring the particularities of the world into being. It’s obvious that God loves this world and those who are in it and wants the best for it and us. Recognizing this helps to renew our spirits and leads us to respond with renewed commitment.
Commitment to what? The scripture Reverend Cattenhead chose to preach on in the sanctuary (Colossians 3:12-17) will remind us of that. “Whatever you do, in word or deed,” we’re instructed, “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” As we continue to celebrate God entering our flesh and being born among us, as we look back on the year that was and the many reasons we have to give thanks, and as we anticipate the year ahead, now is a great time to renew our commitment to Jesus Christ. Sunday’s worship service is a great place to start.