Life for nearly everyone has been upended to some degree these days, and it can be easy to get swept away in a current of fear and anxiety, or to teeter out on the edges of loneliness. In times like these, when many things seem to be out of one’s control, turning (or returning) to daily, simple practices of prayer can provide a deep peace that only comes from opening oneself up to the grace and love of God.
As New Year’s resolutions abound, it’s important to reflect not only on what resolutions we might make, but also why we are making these resolutions. We just spent several weeks preparing for the coming of Christ. While the joy of Christmas is now upon us, we still live in a period of already/not yet. We still await Christ’s return in glory, so in a way, we are always called to prepare for his advent. Maybe this year, in addition to resolutions to exercise, eat well, be more fiscally responsible, etc., we might consider a resolution to cultivate a spirit of preparation all year long so that our hearts are ready to welcome Christ when he comes again.
Over a kosher breakfast several months ago, a good friend and I—both new mothers and in transitory phases of life—speculated about where we might eventually settle down and what our ideal geographical and social living situations would look like.
“Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).