Finding Joy in January

I don’t want to be contrary but talk about the new year never sits well with me. Yes, it’s a new year, I get it. One day it’s 2019 and the next day—and perhaps a few noise makers later—it’s 2020. The media likes to turn this into some giant significant occurrence as if flipping the calendar page changes anything. But do you know what the new year actually brings? January. And the reality is that for most of us, January is squarely in the middle of our year. Nothing is new. We are doing the same things we did a week ago and will continue to do for the foreseeable future. If you had a child in fifth grade in December, they are still in fifth grade in January. If you had a long commute to your job in December, you’re still commuting in January. Oh, here’s one I especially love in Boston, if the climate you live in is cold in December, guess what? It’s still cold, probably colder, in January.For many of us, January can be a struggle exactly because we are in the middle, and all the talk of new beginnings makes us feel inadequate and tired. What we need in January is not a contrived fresh start but a real and faithful walk on the road we are already on, following the One who always goes before us, year-round. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 15. It’s a chapter about the work and power of the resurrection of Christ. Unlike flipping a calendar page, when you believe in Jesus and all that His life and resurrection means, then everything really does change....