It is almost a new year. I find that I am not quite ready for 2023. It seems that we should not be entering a new calendar year because there is so much that is on my to-do list that should have been completed in 2022. Flipping over the calendar (for those of us that still use a paper calendar) can be a stressful act. It is stressful for all sorts of reasons. Stressful because there are so many things left undone. Stressful because there are so many things coming up.
I must admit that each Christmas I bear a bit of “bah humbug” about the whole holiday scene. Sparkly lights and decorated trees illicit a deep and abiding “meh” from me. It is not that I have a shrunken heart like the Grinch. I think it is more that Christmas – the Incarnation of God in Christ – is so big, so holy, so unimaginably sacred that all the trappings fall short of the glory.
Most of us live busy lives. If you’re a parent, there is pressure to ensure your child is in every activity in the world. It might be one sport during the fall, another for winter, another for spring, and yet another for summer. Then add in band activities and scouting, and every other activity, and it can seem like there is an activity or some place to be every day or maybe even twice a day (or more).
Names are important. They are more than a means of identification. Names are part of knowing someone and being known by others. This is especially true in scripture. God gives Abram and Sarai new names, calling them Abraham and Sarah. It may seem a small change, but it identified them as not just heads of a family, but blessings to the whole world. Jacob is renamed Israel. Saul becomes Paul. In each case, they are known by God and their name is important.