The month of January is reasonably void of traditions. It can be a down month as Christmas decorations are packed away, excitement has ebbed, and cold temperatures and more snow sets in. Perhaps you are one of those that begins to look ahead and make lists of what needs to be accomplished.
Amy has worked as a chat coach for Weight Watchers for several years, and the new year is always busy. People are deciding they are going to get back to a sensible diet after all the splurging over the holidays. Others are the products of a resolution to finally pare down to a more healthy weight.
It seems that regardless of our disposition, January launches a new year with a look ahead of things to be accomplished. From a theological understanding, it is the month in which we celebrate the baptism of Jesus on Epiphany Sunday. The sacrament has always been a hallmark of a new beginning. Sin is washed away, promises are made, and a child is initiated into the fellowship of the Christian community. In the Wesleyan tradition, a new covenant is celebrated with the following prayer:
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
-- Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure, Parish Associate