I’m not a fan of the whole New Year’s Eve thing. I think it puts this false pressure on us and just dumps us out at the beginning of Lent with an unholy amount of self-loathing for all the things we didn’t actually do differently in the new year or a collection of dashed out hopes as our endeavors don’t alter our word as we thought they might when they were as shiny and new as the ball in Time Square. And yet, I always do it. I critique it and pretend to ignore it. But if I’m honest, I still do it. And, if I am honest, I hate that.
So, it there is this ambivalent feeling as I sit in a locally owned coffee shop in my new neighborhood on my new computer in the new year contemplating my new job with a new denomination and new hopes for a new church - and more importantly, my new life in Everett, WA. Everything is new. How can there not be a tsunami of resolutions in my life and how can that not make me seasick with overwhelming giggly hope complemented by stifled fear and tossing doubts carried over from the past.
For those that don’t know, my husband Luke and I just moved from Portland to Everett. Everett is home for me. So this isn’t all new. But it is. We’ve moved here to cultivate a new church with the Disciples of Christ - our new denominational home (which we love). More to the core of it, we moved here to serve as pastors as Yahweh continues to cultivate people living differently together in the way of Jesus toward God’s Kingdom of love and justice in Everett, WA. We’re here for the dream of a different - one might say new - way of living together with our neighbors.
So, how can there not be resolutions. And how can I not be cynical about them. How can I not have fears and doubts. How can I not wonder how I’ll be sitting with all these dreams come Lent. Well, I can’t not. (I know that’s terrible grammar. Hopefully your resolution is to be more gracious to poetic licenses taken). I can’t not be cynical, fearful, doubting, and wondering about where I will be come lent. But then, what comes after Lent? Easter. A day when we remember that even death is not the end of a dream. A day we remember that new, unparalleled hope might be hiding in our cynicism, fear, and doubts carried over from the past.
If you’ve read this far, let me invite you into this journey with us. We’ve just moved in and unpacked both our stuff and our hopes to settle into Everett for the long haul. We are walking everywhere so that we are open to encountering our neighbors. We are working out at the local YMCA with an openness to the Kingdom popping up on the elliptical. We are joining the local food coop, volunteering with nonprofits, baking fair trade brownies for our neighbors, living, working, worshipping, and playing in our neighborhood. And we are keeping an eye out for people who want to be a part of this new church - this new community of folks silly or faithful enough to let every new day be a New Year’s Eve in which we boldly carry our hopes of a neighborhood brimful of God’s Kingdom of love and justice - even if we’re still toting along our doubts carried along from the last New Year’s Eve when the world didn’t change. Every Lent leads to an Easter. Every night leads to a sunrise. Every day is a new opportunity to see the world change every-so-slightly.
I hope you’ll journey with us - by following our blogs, by praying for us, by sending us encouragement to remember Easter when Lent is pressing in, or, I’ll go ahead and ask, by joining us in our new life in Everett? Thanks for reading. I hope your day is new and that your new year has some resolutions...even if they make you seasick.