Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~ John 14:27
Tonight we say "good bye" to another year. A few weeks ago I was with a woman who had just lost her husband. As we watched the funeral home place his body in the hearse, and begin to drive away, she quickly turned away and went inside her home. She said to me, "We always made it a habit not to watch each other leave. I don't know how it started. I guess by not watching the person leave, in our hearts we knew that the person was just around the corner."
It struck me that in our lives we encounter "good byes," that are really just "see you later."
In our faith, we acknowledge that death is merely a threshold that we cross into a new life. While I have been at the bedside of a number of people who have made their first step into life eternal, I recognize that with that first step, there was also a final step.
With the final stroke of midnight, we say hello to a new year. A new "opportunity," but yet, we know that more than likely, we will awaken tomorrow to find that we still look the same, still have the same job, family, and many of the same circumstances. Entering the new year with hope is something that we all strive to achieve. Allowing for change that will benefit us, and hopefully those around us.
It is the signalling to others that something is about to change, or evolve, into something different.
Each year a try not to make resolutions that I know I am not sincere about, or know that I can fulfill. It is those things that set me up for "mid-year failure syndrome." I don't really believe that is a diagnosis, but I have to admit, it is something that we all know a little about.
Jesus, as he prepares to leave the disciples just merely offers his "peace," to those around him. As we say "good bye" to 2018, I think that we all would agree that welcoming 2019 into being will be very different if we begin simply with the resolution to offer "peace," to one another.
Peace be with you...
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.