Bitter-Sweet New Year

I put away Christmas yesterday. I tucked up all of the laughter and memories in clear, plastic containers. The house seems darker without the twinkling lights. Somehow, my heart does as well.

And so is the tension of the Christmas season. Throughout the Christian season of Advent we look ahead, basking in sweet anticipation. While we remember the First Coming of Christ, the longing fueled by the season draws our hearts into a position of waiting for the Second. And then, Christmas comes. It’s joyful, beautiful, and already behind us. Christ has come.

And He has not yet come back.

So, we wait — and we accept the tribulation in a world we know He has overcome.

Christmas leaves us with the responsibility go back to life-as-we-know-it, a New Year of death bringing about life. We are left to remember what we have allowed ourselves to forget for a few weeks of hopeful celebration. The sigh of rest lifts, and we must go back to our work.

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. I have tended to greet each midnight ringing-in with excitement, wondering what the next twelve months will bring. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to start over, to do this year better than the last.

For some reason, I’ve found it difficult to greet 2014 with the same enthusiasm as years past.

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